God Told Me What to Paint
God Told Me What to Paint
It is exciting to talk to artists about how they get inspiration. In a recent conversation with local artist Theresa Daily, I was mesmerized by her explanation of how she came to paint acrylics and how a desire to quit smoking transformed itself into a “Beach Series.” It started just two years ago, in 2008 after years of working in watercolors that she decided she would replace a bad habit (smoking) with a good one: the Beach!

Theresa says she is not a “gym rat” and since she enjoys nature, she took the beach starting her days out with long walks at low tide. Her doctor advised her that was the best time to walk because the soft sand wasn’t good for her back. She enjoyed her walks so much that after a while, she couldn’t wait to see when low tides would arrive at a civil hour, given that they sometimes came at 5:00 AM. Low tide was also a good time for treasure hunting.

Her treks began with attempts at self-reflection, prayer, and deep breathing. It brought her great relaxation and she used the time to ask God for guidance and wisdom. “Show me a treasure – show me something to paint – sand crabs or shells. Whatever you want. That’s what I’ll paint.” He answered her one day, a moment in time she will never forget. She was walking down the beach and sensed rain. She turned around and there stood an awe-inspired view of a storm brewing over the sea and sand. She snapped a picture of it and headed back to her studio to begin her task. The result was a beautiful painting of a storm that signified a death of an old habit, replaced with a bright new one that is now her “Beach Series,” a collection of paintings that communicate Theresa’s journey of self-discovery into the land of acrylics.

Friday Night Walk
Friday Night Walk

What amazed me about Theresa’s storm painting entitled, “Friday Night Walk” is the story behind the woman who purchased it. That person had been going through a tough time and the painting spoke to her. So much so that she had to have it. It was like Theresa had a purpose to paint that painting. She got a message and delivered it. She did her job.

Theresa says she never had a journey on the beach where she didn’t receive feelings of inspiration that touched her heart. That one summer, she ended up with over a hundred sand dollars and claims, “They weren’t all perfect – but that didn’t matter… they are all God’s things.” How wonderful and sage is that advice?

She also adds that she doesn’t think her journey will end. Many more things are emanating from her walks. She is adding more color and shape each day. She’s traveled from muted and neutral colors to more vibrancy and depth as seen in her abstracts and small works as well.

Delicate Balance
Delicate Balance

During this weekend’s Shrimp Festival, she is also premiering her largest beach series painting (36″ x 48″) and says on her Facebook page, “To all my Florida/Georgia fans, don’t forget, my booth is at the foot of the Blue Door Artists’ stairs, in front of the coffee shop… #210. Don’t forget to stop & say hi! And of course take home a painting if something strikes your fancy!!!”

About Theresa
Theresa began her art career as the owner of an art supply store on Amelia Island. Drawing had always been a part of her life. She started then with watercolor as her medium of choice until recent years – she began painting acrylics on paper and canvas. While she is largely self-taught, she studied with prominent artists Karen McFadyen and Patricia Lusk. She is an exhibiting member of the Island Art Association of Fernandina Beach. Her award winning work can be found in private and public collections. Feel free to visit Theresa in her open studio at the Blue Door Artists to see her paint and view her work at 205 1/2 Centre Street. Also visit her website at www.theresadaily.com. She can be reached at (904) 556-778

Suzanne is a writer and artist on Amelia Island. See her work at www.ameliaislandartist.com and www.maddogsandalleycats.com.