I’m so sorry that I wasn’t able to post regularly last week. I have great stories of people using their spiritual gifts, but honestly, life just got a bit too busy for my family. Lots of good things going on, and I’ll share that later. Forgive me?
Today it is my pleasure to turn this space over to Michelle Palmer, a gracious woman and an insanely talented artist. I know you’ll be blessed by her story.
As a child dirt roads, farmland and meandering streams were my playground. The end of the day would find me covered in dirt, exhausted from climbing hills and trees and my pockets filled with pebbles, pine cones and other bits of nature. Favorite memories from my childhood have spilled over into my hobbies as an adult. I love to garden and take long nature walks. Songbirds have a special place in every corner of my gardens~ they are a constant companion. I have always been captivated by the intricate, natural beauty that lies just outside my door. I still gather treasures from my journeys and try to weave into my watercolor paintings. Art is part of my every day. I work from a small home studio where I am blessed to be surrounded by the most amazing, supportive husband and children. Grateful to do what I love.
God put four very amazing teachers in my life to guide me. I received my very first art award when I was in kindergarten. My kindergarten teacher fashioned a construction paper button that read, “My Little Artist.” My middle school art teacher was very supportive and kind… my best friend, my father, died of cancer when I was in 7th grade. Nature & art became even more important… they were my escape. In high school my art teacher tried to get me to sign up for more art classes. She saw something in me & encouraged me to step away from the Cosmetology program that my mom had forced me into and to do instead what came natural. It would be a challenge. I knew it would cause problems with my mother. My high school teacher knew. She simply knew what I was up against and encouraged me to think about my future. The high school guidance counselor was not as convinced as my art teacher. He looked me in the eye and said, “Kids like you don’t go to college.” “You do not have a father, your mother is not involved in your life, your grades suffer and you have no money.” I thanked him for his time and moved along to my next class. After a few days my art teacher saw me in the hall and asked what the guidance office said. I tried to pass it off and convince her I would look into it after graduation. She knew. My English teacher was passing by us and with one teacher to my left, my art teacher to my right… they brought me back to the guidance counselor and told him to make a new schedule for my senior year. One that would ready me for college. He did. I knew college would require me to work full-time. I worked 40+ hours while attending Mohawk Valley Community College full-time. I was an ad designer for the Utica newspaper, The Observer Dispatch. Graduated top of my department and had colleges lined up. I chose Rochester Institute of Technology. While attending college there I worked for the Deans & Bevier Gallery. I graduated with highest honors. The first in my family to attend & graduate from college… doing what God designed me to do.
I married my best friend in 1992, we had our first child one year later. We prayed, hoped and felt God put it on our hearts for me to stay home with our two children. I began earning money from art festivals, private sales and odd jobs opposite shifts of my husband. Being able to be at home with our two children has been the most amazing gift! We keep a very tight budget, He meets our needs and we find creative ways to have fun! I began licensing my art in 2001. My watercolor paintings have been on wallpaper, fabrics, paper products, garden flags, cards, calendars, three dimensional sculptures, throws, pillow & so much more. I began a personal blog in 2008. I share about art, nature, my walk, my journey. I opened an on line store with Etsy in 2009 and added a 2nd Etsy store in May. I share my faith and my heart through blogging and Etsy. My art reflects His amazing gifts! I add scripture to some of my designs. I have sold almost 3,000 pieces through my Etsy shops… have met the most amazing people through social media! Just through Etsy sales we have reached 44 states and 19 countries… I will never know the number of people who see my art through my Pinterest boards, blog posts, Facebook, Etsy sales. God is so very good. I try to reflect His love, the beauty He has given us… how very thankful I am for being an artist. How he designed me.