Gifted to Give By inSpire with Sheron Petrie

Photo: Sheron Petrie
We asked Sheron Petrie about her passion for drawing and painting and the impact that art has made on her life.

inSpire - When did you first realize that you had artistic desires and abilities? Describe for us what inspired you to want to pursue art.

Petrie - My earliest recollection of loving art was in kindergarten, which is also when I realized I had a gift. I remember the way my kindergarten teacher responded after seeing my first drawing. But I really started to notice that what I drew looked different from my classmates art work because she would hang my work in the center of the display board. I never drew stick figures because I never saw people or anything else in that way. I simply drew what I saw in detail, usually with an emphasis on the eyes. Her compliments and my parents' encouragement really bolstered my confidence.

Two things have inspired me to pursue art, first I felt an increased tugging in my heart to use this gift in more of an evangelistic way. Just recently the Lord has shown me that I have a story to tell; His story.

Secondly, doors have been opening that allow me to take this on more consistently without the worry of being a "starving artist."

inSpire - You mention that God revealed to you that you have a "story to tell." How much does the idea "storytelling" enter into your art? Also, how do you choose the subject matter that you decide to paint?

Petrie - Not all of my pieces are motivated by a story nor do all tell a story, but there are pieces I've done that do tell a story and I begin with this in mind. My paintings, "Because of Love," and "Remember Me," both convey a story. They are included in a collection that I'm in the process of developing and adding to for a personal Art Exhibit entitled, "The Gospel on Canvas." I was inspired to do this after my interview with inSpire.

The way I choose the subject matters is based on different things. If I want to enter an art exhibit or contest and depicting a certain theme is required that I've not already done, I complete one to qualify.

Some of my work is based on what interested me at the time, others are done to decorate a space, and some are commissioned pieces. I try to be mindful to what might be marketable as well.
 
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inSpire - In the future what kinds of projects or subjects would you like to tackle that maybe you've been afraid to try?

Petrie - It's interesting that you ask because I am actually in the process of tackling such a project. I've always done portraits in pencil whether black & white or color; even charcoal, but I am now trying it in watercolor. It's been awhile since I've used water color so it should be interesting. I would also like to do portraits using acrylic and oil.

My dream has always been to have my own art exhibit, but I’ve always been intimidated by my perception of what that would mean. Teaching art to kids is also something I would like to do. It's a bit intimidating sometimes because I myself did not receive formal training and I often question my ability to convey to my students the best way to achieve their artistic goals and stay true to their own expression.

inSpire - Thank you for sharing with us. We wish you well!

Visit Sheron Petrie online

This interview was conducted by Rich DuBose, Director of Pacific Union Conference Church Support Services and the inSpire project. All rights reserved © 2012 VisitInSpire.org. Click here for content usage information.