It is no secret that I love and appreciate our American flag, our Pledge and anyone who has ever served our country. Imagine my delight when I received this “surprise” in the mail on Saturday.
yes ~ surprises are another love!
I met my friend Juliana a couple of years ago at a show. I instantly bonded with her as I was drawn to her art. Her heart is as sweet as her paintings, but when I looked at this set of notecards she sent, my heart sank. You see, there is so much more to her story.
Juliana grew up with her family in a small rural community in Brazil. The following is some of what she shared with me. (used with permission)
“It was a small home, and I have so many fond memories of that place. Of the warmth of a small but loving home, of veggie gardens and playing outside in the muddy yard, of walking to my grandparents house. In 1994, when I was only fifteen, my parents moved our family to the United States. They were seeking a better education and so much more. We had to start a whole new life, along with learning a different language and a new culture. I admit, it was very difficult the first year. But even with the language barrier and culture, we made new friends at church who embraced us and welcomed us with open arms! As the years went by, we adjusted. We truly made the United States our new home and I can say today, that it would be very hard for me to go back or live anywhere else.”
Now ~ about the above print, “An American Story” ~
“I’ve always had a deep connection with little houses, I think from growing up in a small house, and feeling that warmth and embrace of family there. The colorful houses I paint represent many emotions and fond memories. Also, my Christian faith has played a great part in my art. When I’m painting I often think of how God blessed my life with a loving family growing up, and now as well, with my husband and kids in our home. He has provided for me in many ways through the years. When I don’t paint houses, I paint nature, flowers, trees, and insects. While I am aware that there is sadness and tragedies in our world, I strive to find the beauty and new life in the “everyday” that God gives us. As an artist, I want to make a difference in someone’s life by sharing a little bit of the beauty that surrounds us.”
Juliana went on to say that as Independence Day approaches us, it reminds her of what America is about. It is a country that has embraced freedom and sacrifice. It is a love for God and for neighbors. And it’s those same feelings that she and her family felt when they moved here, all those years ago. “An American Story” (above) represents a little bit of that. “Lives past ~the old but faithful barn. Lives that were sacrificed for the American people. And the green trees represent new life. The American flag continues to speak for itself, as it stands, firm and bright.”
Bless you, Juliana, for my wonderful gift! I am so glad to have you as my friend ♥ And thanks for taking the time to share “YOU” with us. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY !
If you’d like to see more of Juliana’s work, check out her website/blog at www.paintednotecards.com .