Sunday, April 27, 2008

Inspiration: Christina Gray - Monroe, La.

When we moved to Hot Springs, Ark., six years ago, I bought this piece to hang over the mantle in our living room. Painted by Christina Gray of Monroe, La., her art has continued to inspire me - not only because of the subject matter, but also because of the courageous person she is.

Christina was born in Europe during the time her father served in the military. Struck with polio by age five, she spent several years in a body cast in an attempt to straighten her spine. Despite medical intervention, she lost the use of her left shoulder, arm and hand.

As an adult, Christina reared three children on her own, after having been abandoned by her husband. Instead of whining and pouting, she made up her mind to go back to school and work her way through college. Not only did she complete her undergraduate degree, but she also obtained her Masters of Fine Arts with honors.

Christina painted this piece during her last year in school, when the idea of getting a degree had lost some of its glamour. Although I'm not sure she ever gave the painting a formal name, we always referred to the women as the Biblical characters Ruth, Naomi and Orpah.

Every time I look at the painting I'm energized. All of us have choices. We can turn back. We can tolerate our circumstances. Or we can look for hope in all situations, bringing life to all those around us.

Thanks for inspiring me, Christina. One day, I hope to buy the other paintings in this series!


Bev said...

Beautiful painting and what a wonderful story of someone who despite their circumstances AROSE and went on anyhow! ;) Thanks for sharing!

Cammy said...

Beautiful story; beautiful painting.

Count me on the side of hope...and faith. :)

Happy Monday!

Hanlie said...

I love the painting and Ruth is one of my favorite Biblical women. Such courage!

Nicole said...

What a wonderful story!