After everything began happening with the feathers in August, I determined very quickly that I wanted to commemorate what God was doing (and still is) in some way. We’ve talked about putting some of the feathers in a shadow box. I found my feather pillow at Pottery Barn. I realizd I have a feather wreath that’s been hanging in my kitchen for years. I’ve put some of the larger feathers in the base of a glass lamp we have. I guess what I’m saying is I love marrying the decorations in my home with the feathers as a reminder of His work all around us.
Enter Arin with TrueCotton. I first met Arin after our daughters became fast friends in school. In the following year, I watched as she launched her business TrueCotton. Arin paints ridiculously amazing pieces with watercolor that incorporate Scripture.
In fact, her work is currently being featured in the SheReadsTruth 28-day Advent Book.
So I was scrolling through her Instagram feed one day last month and realized what a perfect combination our feathers, Psalm 91:4 and her work would be.
Quickly after contacting her, Arin agreed to paint a commissioned piece and EEEKKKK, here it is! I love it so much!
I have the original 11×14 piece and can’t wait to get a frame and put it in a special place in our home.
I love that the colors she choose–without any direction from me–fit perfectly in just about any room in our house. And when I went to pick up the print from her house, I happened to have a feather in my van and it was almost an exact replica of the one in the middle.
And the amazing news is she made prints in several sizes available to you in her etsy shop! Head over here if you want a print of it too. And check out her other pieces. They really are so beautiful.
Arin also agreed to do a little Q&A with me on how she started painting, how TrueCotton started, where her inspiration comes from and tips on starting to paint on your own.
I’m fascinated by people who can draw and paint. How did painting start for you?
I grew up in a creative household with two artists for parents. My mom did stained-glass windows & oil paintings. My dad a blacksmith & watercolor artist.
I took a few drawing classes as a child. I took visual art classes all throughout school, & into college. I have a degree in Interior Architecture….What I did mostly….was doodle. The pages of notebooks & binders and book covers were covered in doodles. I would say though that my passion for it didn’t become clear until I was four-deep in motherhood.
How did True Cotton start?
I officially launched TrueCotton last fall.
3 years prior was when I realized that my heart needed to absorb ‘truth’ differently. As a mother of 3 at the time, and pregnant with our fourth, we were in the midst of selling our house & trying to move to Fort Mill. 14 months, 64 showings & another ‘tiny’ later, we finally moved. The season of wait for me was a hard, quiet, but rich.
As any new mother knows, the fatigue is overwhelming as you take care of a new baby and other children. There are little to no moments of rest, or down time…and there was absolutely no time alone. Sitting down to read scripture or pray resulted in me, asleep. So in those few quiet moments I would choose a verse & just started picking up my pencil. So last fall I felt like it was time to launch. Weeks of names & sketches landed me on TrueCotton.
Almost all of the words I paint are Biblical Truth=TRUE
‘To Cotton’ something means to grasp or understand….& I also paint on 90-100% cold pressed cotton rag watercolor paper!
You mix Scripture and art in your paintings. Does each one have a story or how do you pick the Scripture and art combination?
Each piece is very different for me. The scripture typically comes from my own personal study. There are mornings that I am in a particular mood to do calligraphy instead of paint, or I choose to use a Sharpie instead of a brush. Every now and then I will see color combinations or dream of a design, but mostly I sit & begin to draw. There are days I don’t paint at all. I have learned not to force it, to not feel controlled to create, that is a place that brings me life & joy. The last several months I have been doing a lot of ‘imperatives'; ‘be thankful’, ‘be free’, ‘be still’. I love that as I step back from these, this is a sweet place of worship for my heart, a place that God lays down truth for my hands to create and my heart to absorb.
If someone wanted to start, what recommendations do you have? Any online classes? What materials would you need?
My recommendations are just to start drawing. Draw fruit, draw flowers, draw creatures, buy a beginner watercolor set. The hardest part is to start. We have a family rule about art, ‘There are no mistakes in art’! The only way you can know who you are as an artist is to start drawing. Be original, don’t copy & don’t compare. I feel very strongly that we are all created to mirror The Creator. God didn’t design you to mimic someone else, he design you to be YOU. You will be good at some things someone else won’t. You will master something they struggle with. My art has changed even just in the last 6 months. The more I paint & draw, the more comfortable I become to create without boundaries. For materials I have to send you to my most favorite store, Cheap Joes. Hands down the best paper, paint & brushes! I use nothing else!
Thank you, so much, Arin!
Isn’t wonderful to see how God blesses us all with so many different talents to be used for his glory? Head over to her shop and check it all out! I think these would make wonderful, unique Christmas presents.