I often need the help of others to fully embrace my call as an artist. Likewise, my art practice helps me work through the call to serve Christ in the world.
Even as a girl in Seattle, I stepped into life as an artist. “Making” was my social language and natural abilities were recognized early. When I reached high school, I immersed in academic subjects and never took an art class until my senior year. I convinced myself that adulthood required a serious path, so I marginalized my art practice and planned to pursue science. Before leaving for college, a beloved art teacher pulled me aside for an honest talk about my talent and direction. She persuaded me to change course and major in art. This made all the difference, laying the creative foundation for my life.
The desire to create and respond visually only intensified and expanded in later years. Life became more complex -teaching high school, marriage, three young children and then Dan’s call to seminary/pastoral ministry. I pushed my own art to the sidelines and focused on stabilizing the family on the east coast. I didn’t quite understand that the art practice was integral to my calling and freedom. It took a good friend to confront me one day in Minneapolis. Why were my art table and supplies kept upstairs in a walk-in closet? They must come down and be set up in the middle of our home. She helped me move everything downstairs that day, and suddenly I was free to live life from a messy project space.
Fast forward to our Los Angeles move three-plus years ago. This call started with a broken church and a vision for God’s healing and embrace. We moved down into this huge city so Dan could pastor in Hollywood. Our youngest child left for college, and we immediately drove south out of Seattle. It seemed like we let go of everything familiar. Upon our arrival, Dan insisted that we find a work space for me before any other plans were made. Such a gift that was – God met me in the studio each day. I have been able to immerse in my work and discern new directions.
Titles of Paintings: (1) Plant (2) She’s In Deep Water (3) Inhale (4) Rise (5) Paradigm (6) Loop (7) Keep
Anne Baumgartner works and teaches art in Los Angeles. She has an MFA from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. She lives with her husband and they serve a church in Hollywood.