Jessie Willcox Smith



If you have never seen this amazing woman’s work, you really should go check her out. I have her bibliography of collected works put together by Edward D. Nudelman and The Red Rose Girls by Alice A. Carter. If there was ever an artist’s work that takes my breath away it is hers. There is such emotion in the tiniest details of each painting. Her story is remarkable. She was a school teacher that didn’t even know she could draw until after she finished college and was a school teacher.

She accompanied a friend who was going to a sketching class and describes “the accidental beginnings of her auspicious career.”

“I knew I wanted to do something with children, but never thought of painting them, until an artist friend saw a sketch I had made and insisted I should stop teaching (at which I was an utter failure) and go to art school – which I did.” ~Jessie Willcox Smith

It amazes me that this unbelievably talented woman had no idea she was an artist. She did not have a burning desire to draw from a young age. She had no idea she could draw. This gives me so much faith and trust in God that he absolutely will show us our way in this life as long as we keep our eyes open along the way. It is about constantly moving forward even in the times you want to hide under the covers. I have had time to think about my future the past few days and have come to realize that as long as I continue to be open to what life has to offer i really can’t make a ‘wrong’ decision. Trust and patience, which have been the theme of many of the blogs I read, is in the air for all of us. I think we all make these spectacular resolutions on the first of January and then when they don’t begin to come true on the second it is an utter letdown. Our instant gratification culture is a strong tide to fight against and sometimes I really envy the tales of quaint foreign villages where people live for the moment, eating, drinking, spending time with others. I think that is why Ms. Willcox’s work speaks to me so. Her paintings are of simple moments caught in time. There is no flurry of activity, no urgncy to complete a task, just a quiet moment that looks like it will be remembered forever. I certainly can use a few more moments like those in my life.

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