“Friendship is an obstetric art; it draws out our richest and deepest resources; it unfolds the wings of our dreams and hidden indeterminate thoughts; it serves as a check on our judgements, tries out our new ideas, keeps up our ardor, and inflames our enthusiasm.”
I had a great conversation with a new friend recently that still has me floating this week. Don’t you just love first-time talks with hadn’t-met-yet friends? They have an ardor all their own!
I had wanted to meet Deann in person for so long. I loved reading that she had traded in her corporate high heels for paint brushes, and I was smitten with her palette knife paintings from the second I saw them. Her layered textures are reminiscent of tree bark and old peeling paint, and her creations tell such sweet stories of the South.
I had followed her on Instagram for, hmmmm, a year maybe? Then, last weekend, I found her. In person. In a tall, brick and barn wood booth, at the far end of an old oven factory, in Franklin. She had just sat down at her desk for a quick bite of something for lunch, but she hopped up and squeezed me with a smile, the second I peeked over her trusty red counter.
We talked for nearly two hours and let our words swirl around wherever they wanted to go. We landed on ‘Gifts’ for a while, and do you know what she shared with me? She said she’s always felt like her creativity was a Gift. That she knew it was a Gift from the get-go. Not after she sold her hundredth painting, not halfway through her career- she knew it from the very start. And because she knew her passion for painting was a Gift from God from the beginning, being intentional about being present as she paints, and listening for His voice, has been a part of her process all along.
That felt so warm in my ears, y’all. Made me think about my son…and conversations I can have with him. 🙂
Before we left the Factory that day, Deann pulled out a sheet of watercolor paper, and in hues that felt like home, she scraped on the layers of an angel. Kevin and I stood right there with her in the streaming sun, as she smoothed all the colors into place. I got goosebumps watching our angel take shape…patches and details sliding off the edge of Deann’s palette knife and onto the paper for keeps. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that experience. Felt like getting a glimpse of the Divine. So, so grateful for moments like those.
PS- Sweet Deann paints at The Factory at 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, Tennessee and you can find her online at DeannDesigns.com, or on Facebook and Instagram @DeannArt 🙂
Wow. So beautiful! I love the guitar. And the one with the lyrics to Oceans. We’ve been singing that at church lately. This post makes my heart feel full. So happy for your newfound friendship!
Beautiful painting. Enjoy your “angel”.
I love when that true, immediate connection happens! Cherish that friendship! And she IS truly gifted (and lucky to have you as well). ~Kim
Layla, thank you sharing this with us .She is a beauty and her work is also ?I am going to find something in her shop that calls my name. I’m sure it will not be hard.
Love you top and necklace , could you share ? The color is so pretty on you !!!!!
I am so drawn in by stories of those who chase their dream, use their gift and live their lives to the fullest because of that! This post made me feel very encouraged as I take wobbly steps towards chasing my dream <3
Lorraine! What a beauty-FULL comment!! It brought me to tears! I would love to share the story of you and your cookies if you feel like joining the conversation in that way. (?) XO
Ter'e Crow Lindsay
Ohhhhhhhhhhh I love this post! The whole gist made me feel so peace-full.
I love the angel art…………I would love to see my “spirit”. I have a few really lovely angels and they just go straight to my heart.
Great Great post.
I had seen Deann’s feature story in CL and fell in love with a Dolly and Clarabell, but it’s too soon to buy art for my yet to be remodeled kitchen. Would love to go to Franklin and that area for antique shopping…too far.
Next best thing…on-line shopping. I went immediately to Deann’s on-line store after reading your post. Up popped the perfect art work for our friends. It’s on it’s way to them!
You are so fortunate to have met the artist and seen some of her original works.
Thanks for the inspiration.
Wishing you all the best.
hello haha narf
wow, she is incredibly talented! so beautiful. thanks for the introduction!
Wow! When I saw your blog post, I thought I recognized Deann. There’s an article about her in the September 2015 issue of Country Living, and it mentions that she’s from Alabama. I wonder where?
We used to live near The Factory, and it’s one of my favorite places.
Thanks for the pictures and the stirring up of those memories.
By the way……do you have a date for the Bijou jewelry party yet? I’m looking forward to it!
Thanks for introducing us to DeAnn. New friends are beauty-full! Heading over to her website now!
I love DeeAnn! She is a true talent and local treasure with a big heart! Love her work!
So beautiful! I recently found her by way of Periscope.
I’m curious, will you frame the picture (since it is on water paper)? And, do you know if she put any protective coating?? so it would be protected?I’m curious how that will work with framing and displaying. Do you have any tips?
Thank you for sharing about your visit!
So inspiring to see people use the gifts they were given and she uses hers so beautifully! How precious to watch her create something special for you – right before your very eyes.
It was great seeing your post and then seeing Deann in the Sept Country Living issue.
Thank you for posting this. As someone who has sort of navigated the career field for a few years now, and who finally feels like I am in the right place, this rings very true for me. Our talents are our Gifts, and they are given to us for a reason; and we have to own that and bow down to our Creator for the opportunity to even have a Gift at all. Anyway, thanks so much.