In Gratitude: Four Women Who Inspired Me to Paint

In Gratitude: Four Women Who Inspired Me to Paint

There are countless women out there who are making a difference in the world and inspiring others with their creativity and passion. In this blog post, I want to shine a light on four incredible women who have made a significant impact on me. From art to entrepreneurship, these women have shown me what it means to take a leap of faith, follow your dreams and use your gifts to lift up others and point toward the true, good and beautiful things. Let me share with you my deep gratitude for each of these women.  Let's dive in and explore the creative contributions of Riley Sheehey, Emily Landers, Meg Hoburg, and Molly Brose.

1. Riley Sheehey: The Artistic Pioneer

A few years ago, when I was in my social media blackout phase, I was reading my high school's newsletter, the Maryvale Messenger.  It congratulated a young woman I didn't know named Riley Sheehey on her artistic achievements and profile in Southern Living.  I didn't know Riley in high school because she is younger than I am, but it is a really small all-girls' Catholic school where you feel an immediate bond with anyone who went there.  I was so encouraged to see a "real" person with a similar background "making it" in the art world with lovely art.  I searched for Riley on Instagram and was overjoyed to discover her truly beautiful artistic point of view.  Suddenly, due to Riley's influence, I realized that maybe it was possible, as a pretty boring, normal person (that's me, not her!) to create the kind of art I wanted to see in the world, which is whimsical, joyful, and uplifting.  So often, in artistic spaces, I have often felt that there is only room for the provocative and non-traditional.  Riley Sheehey's beautiful work helped me realize there is a place for artists of all kinds, even us busy moms living real life.  Soon, I was following many inspiring women who were creating beautiful art on Instagram.  But I credit Riley for opening my eyes to the possibility that maybe there was a place for me too.  I encourage you to check out Riley's work.  I think you will love it as much as I do!  

2. Emily Landers: The Voice

Emily Landers has a podcast she began during the pandemic when a job reading ads for an online radio station fell through.  I love this classic, "When God closes a door somehow he opens a window" moment.  Pivoting, she began a podcast instead called "How'd She Do That?" which interviews female founders, entrepreneurs and other interesting guests about their life and career journey.  If there's anything I love, it is being in the company of inspiring women!  I love learning about people, hearing their ups and downs, and listening to their stories.  Listening to this podcast gave me the inspiration to lean into my gifts, start drawing and painting again, and eventually launch my art business.  As far as I know, I am one of three businesses launched due to Emily's encouragement through her podcast!  Emily is a gifted interviewer. Through her Patreon page and social media platforms, she shares her personal experiences and insights, inspiring others to live their best lives. Emily has recently launched a curated store with items from her podcast guests.  I highly encourage you to listen for a dose of inspiration.  Emily's ability to bring out her guests' journeys and connect with people through her podcast is truly inspiring.  Check her out here.

3. Meg Hoburg: The Encourager

I first met Meg Hoburg after admiring the interior design at my friend's house.  She encouraged me to reach out to Meg for my own home projects.  I was in a season of four kids under fifth grade and didn't feel I had the bandwidth to make all the decisions involved in our home renovation.  She helped me with the project but she also had a major impact on my life.  Meg is an interior designer who brings great grace to the often terrifying and dizzying tasks of decorating a home or forging ahead on a renovation.  I can't remember how Meg found out about my secret art life, but she always reminded me that the season I was in with all little children and a baby wouldn't be my season forever, and that one day I might find time to create the artwork I'd always dreamed of creating.  Many years ago I went to a talk by an administrator at University of Maryland named Marsha Guenzler-Stevens.  She talked about finding the person shouting in your ear, and listening to that voice.  I have been thinking about that my whole life. (Thank you, Marsha!)  Meg was the person shouting in my ear.  But Meg would never shout.  But you get what I mean.  Meg was always there quietly encouraging me.  I am so inspired by the way Meg weaves her faith into everything she does.  She is a constant reminder to me of how God gives us gifts to use for others.  Check out Meg here. 

P.S. I just googled Marsha Guenzler-Stevens and she has a TED Talk on a similar topic!

4. Molly Brose: The Artist on my Walls

Molly Brose and I were moms together at a nursery school co-op.  I loved and admired Molly first as a friend, and then as an artist.  I knew Molly in a period of my life (even before Meg) where I simply could not imagine having the time for anything else.  Running my own home and raising my children took all my time and creative energy.  At our nursery school fundraiser, a Sock Hop, Molly generously offered her artistic skills, (or maybe was asked to donate her skills!) as a portrait artist.  This was a big deal, a very valuable package, a Live Auction Item.  Realizing the incredible opportunity to have our children painted by a REAL artist, my husband and I placed the winning bid on Molly's portrait package.  Unfortunately for Molly we had three kids at the time, so it was three times the work!  (Oh Molly, I love you!) It takes incredible talent and a certain amount of bravery to do children's portraits, and Molly's were perfect.  They hang in our home today for all to see, in a place of honor, going up the staircase.  A few years later, when we had our fourth baby, I asked Molly to paint our little boy when he was a toddler.  Quite some time went by, but it wasn't just regular time going by, it was a global pandemic, societal upheaval, social-unrest, riots-near-our-homes-kind of time...  They were difficult years to live through and I am sure other's people's art requests were not top of mind for anyone!  However, since I hadn't heard from Molly, I began to wonder if she was still interested in painting the portrait.  I thought perhaps I should begin learning how to paint in watercolor just in case I had to paint little John myself.  To be fair, Molly had moved across the river and packed up all her art supplies for an extended period of time.  After I reached out again, Molly did come through though with an incredible painting of John, but in the meantime, I had started painting in watercolor, just in case.  So I count Molly amongst the ladies who has inspired me most, and without whom, I am not sure I would be painting today! Check out Molly's amazing work here

Life is funny, isn't it?  If Molly had given us the portrait of John right away, maybe I never would have felt compelled to start learning watercolor?  This just proves to me God is in all the details.  The next time something goes a different way than I expect I hope I can say, "Ah, I guess this was in God's plan all along!"  

These four women, Riley Sheehey, Emily Landers, Meg Hoburg, and Molly Brose, have each made a significant impact on my life. Their creativity, passion, and determination serve as a reminder that we all have gifts to share with the world. The most important thing I want to convey is my gratitude to each of these women and share that with you.  They've inspired me to follow my dreams and use my gifts, and for those things I will be forever grateful. 

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by warmth and love.  And remember, if your turkey comes out frozen in the middle or you spill the gravy and skate into your dining room in a glorious hot mess, you can say "I guess this was in God's plan!"  Maybe someone needed a good laugh.

Happiest Thanksgiving to you and yours!

With deepest gratitude this November,


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