My focus as an artist.
As an artist I am driven to create and work with my hands. I am also inspired by stories and love to make connections with people through art. Recently, I have had several opportunities to tell others stories through my art. See Empowering Hearts and the Great Escape. It has been so amazing to hear the stories and be given the opportunity to create what each story has stirred up in me; Stories of victory, redemption, integrity, endurance, strength, resiliency and reconciliation. Art is such a wonderful way to communicate and reflect the world we live in.
I also love nature and the beauty of our world and choose to reflect that in my work. I used to only work with dark colors, ink and graphite, but now I choose to use bright and natural colors because it brings me joy and I am attracted to them.
In addition to creating works that reflect nature, I create spiritually themed ink drawings inspired by quiet times with God the creator. My work is an overflowing of my love for God and his creation. These drawings are a physical manifestation of my time with God. I find this art to be healing not only for me, but I have been surprised by the people who have reached out to me to tell me how different drawings have touched them.
Besides telling stories, depicting nature and creating spiritually themed art, my favorite thing to draw and paint are trees. Trees are something that I notice where ever I go. Trees represent strength, protection and time. The strength of the roots that allow the tree to stretch out and up in awe-inspiring height and size are symbolic of what happens when we learn and apply God’s teachings. The variety of colors, shapes and changes fascinate me. The privacy and protection that is organically represented in the outstretched limbs that shade the world underneath is so inviting. And finally, the representation of time weathered beauty that has seen a multitude of seasons is a perfect metaphor for life as a whole. The seasons we as human beings go through; times of growth, rest, storing up, enduring the storms and difficulty that strengthen the roots, trunk and limbs make our life complete in the same way.
My love for art was encouraged by my grandmother who was a self-taught artist, my mother who supported her children’s desires by encouraging us to pursue our talents and my sister who is also an artist. So, at a young age, I pursued art and I fell in love with it. My faith in God and my art became an identity that I grabbed hold of throughout elementary, junior high and high school. At a young age, I spoke of becoming an art teacher and knew that one day I would.
During my 20s, I was a Youth Counselor and Youth Co-Pastor at 2 different churches in Palos Verdes and Lomita Ca. During this time I had a manicuring business that gave me the flexibility of time to go back to school and complete my degree. I received my BA in Art Education and Fine Arts in 2000.
I enjoyed 12 years of teaching, which included internships at Youth centers in Long Beach, CA and a Juvenile Detention center in Los Padrinos. I worked at Gahr High School, W.S. Hart High School and West Ranch High School. I taught beginning, intermediate and advanced art and AP Art History. Unfortunately, I was plagued by unexplained fatigue and flu like symptoms that made it had for me to work full time. In 2010, I had to resign from teaching full time so I could take care of my health issues.
Good Changes but, a huge adjustment.
The hardest part of all the changes in my life was being pulled away from things that kept me busy. Now that I look back on it, I was too busy, but I thought that was what I needed to do. The world celebrates and reveres the busy person and the teaching professing is quite guilty of just that. At first, it felt like a burden of time as I waited for the changes and healing to occur. I felt useless, anxious, worthless and a burden to my husband. What I did not expect was the healing that occurred in my heart, soul, and mind while my body healed. Things that I held onto so dearly, I learned were not important and were actually hurting me. So, now I see my life change as a gift.
Having as attitude of Thankfulness and gratitude allows joy to fill my heart. I have to make a choice everyday to walk in an attitude of gratitude.
So, I keep my hands busy by painting, drawing, re purposing furniture and found objects and of course…teaching art, which is a passion for me. I love the aha moments and the joy that comes from creating.
I have also completed and self-published a book called Sermon Illustrations.
You can view a few of the 50 drawings under Illustrations on this blog. It is a collection of drawings and writing inspired by God.
5 thoughts on “Dawn Grider”
did you draw the featured one above? It’s beautiful. The journey of an artist is not an easy one, but it is so important!
Yes, I did. It was created for an event that celebrated the lives of women who were making an impact in their community.
It is amazing! Your work is lovely.
Handcrafted Granite Tuna
I am interested in having my 8 yr old granddaughter take some Art Lessons. Would you tell me about your lessons – structure, times, and place, etc.?