We met when he was a midshipman and I was studying to become an art teacher. We married during the short time his ship was in and I graduated. We had our first child in an Air Force hospital while he had shore duty with the Navy. Together we faced many challenges and joys: we made a decision over the phone in an hour about his next duty station while he was across the Atlantic; had three moves that I handled alone; visited many bases and met the most friendly and caring military families during our time in service and since. Our family has a deep appreciation for the military and a special love for all things ocean. GO NAVY!
I have worked in many art related fields, but it was during the winter break of 2017 that KintsugiGrace® began. Our daughter had gathered shells with the intent of writing encouraging notes inside them and placing them around campus during finals. I never imagined that it would turn into a life philosophy.
As I studied the shells trying to determine how to paint them, I began to see them in a different way. Once painted, they were transformed, becoming more than they were before. About this same time I watched a video by Nerdwriter explaining the art and philosophy of Kintsugi: there is no attempt to hide a repair, but the object is made stronger and more precious because of it.
This beautiful concept expressed what I had been attempting to do. As I added the gold paint, central to Kintsugi, it completed the transformation. It made the bold declaration that this object, once damaged and discarded, had its beauty and value restored like a touch of Grace. And thus the name was formed. What I call 'KintsugiGrace®'- the art of restoring value to the broken.
In Kintsugi, the beauty in the imperfect is highlighted rather than hidden in shame. Repairing an object reveals the deep love the owner has for the creation; it is too precious to throw away, regardless of the damage. Reflecting on this while looking at life circumstances helped me embrace the idea that pieces of my life, however imperfect, can have a beauty when grace has had a hand in the repair. There is dignity in the journey and those broken places can teach us and add beauty to our story when embraced gently with grace. I've painted quite a few more shells since that time. Both my art and my philosophy have become more refined. I am passionate about the message of KintsugiGrace® and have seen how it facilitates self acceptance and brings hope. I believe we all could extend a little more grace to ourselves, then it's easier to give it to others. The art shells are the vehicle I have used to share this message and having a tangible object as a reminder of this truth, helps in the process of healing and restoration.
My goal is to bring encouragement and showcase the power of redemptive beauty.