Linda Marino, North Haven, CT

I loved this course! I don’t think I would have been able to learn what I did on my own. I’m so grateful for Jessie and for all the art ministers, pastors and lay people who participated in the videos and wrote the books. I realize that I’ve just started on this journey and there is so much more to learn. This course is a wonderful foundation and opened my eyes to so many experiences that I had never heard of or seen before. It has also affected my walk with Christ. What I loved most about the “Figure Drawing” lesson were the blind contour drawing exercises. There was no stress in this exercise, especially since we were working on newsprint and with markers. I had forgotten how beneficial the contour drawing exercise is and how helpful it would be to incorporate into a daily practice. One of the Foundations lessons included a truly well written and presented speech by Andy Crouch. He unpacked through scripture why art is not about “usefulness,” it’s a gift we’re invited to play in, enjoy, and process our pain through. I can speak from personal experience that a few years back when a very traumatic event happened with my daughter, the only way I could process the pain was to paint. The feeling of such loss and brokenness wasn’t masked by the pretty colorful paintings, but embedded into each little oil painting were my tears and a way for me to draw even closer to God in a deep way. Thank you to my small group and Jessie for enriching my world and helping me learn more about art ministry, myself, and how amazing our God is through his people and his creation! Creating art has meaning and enriches our lives. It’s an intricate part of the wholeness of God.