Kim Larrison Bullen
Freeze Frames of Hope:
Look for the Silver Linings...
by Sharon Furrate Bailey
Q: When did you begin painting and when did Josephine’s World of Paintings begin?
A: My journey with the paint brush began ten years ago when I was on a break with my children. During that weekend, I painted seven paintings with poetic writings attached. Josephine emerged at that point but was not refined. I realized that God was actually refining me. About two years ago, I picked up the paint brush again and 100 paintings were birthed, each with a message of hope. It was healing for me, genuine therapy. God reminded me that He is very near to the downtrodden and never far from our heart’s cry.
Q: Poetic messages are tied to many of your paintings. Share more about Josephine - what she represents in your paintings?
A: Typically, the painting and message come through someone sharing their personal hardship and how they got to the other side. Sometimes, it’s a scripture that will inspire a painting and sometimes it’s the other way around. Many times, I have worship music playing while I paint and in that infused world of praise, messages emerge from the Holy Spirit. I feel that God told me to “write with paint and paint with words.”
Josephine is a story teller. She is woven into the canvas just as we are woven in the womb (Psalm 139:13). Her color is black because that encompasses all colors and absorbs light best. Josephine was created to absorb the most that she can from her Creator. Her white dress reflects all the Lord’s blessings and mercy. The red stitching symbolizes the blood of the Lamb, a reminder that she is covered and protected. Her arms are always lifted up to show her surrender to God in all things.
“The Green Grass and Silver Linings” painting is very special because it emerged during a very dark time when God gave me a vision. I saw a dark ominous sky and a bright green pasture with one big white cloud lined in silver. He encouraged me to look for the green grass and silver lining in each moment. I call these moments “grassitude” moments. Look for the green moments for they represent hope.
Q: I love the phrase "freeze frames" of hope you mention in one of your blogs. Do all of your paintings represent hope?
A: Yes, each painting is a “freeze frame” of hope. This world is full of darkness and negativity. God will reveal a way out if we lean on him and listen in the silence. Proverbs 29:18 says it best: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he who keepeth the law, happy is he.” Our walk becomes lighter when we focus on the Great Physician (Psalm 55:22).
I have to shed light on the heroine and opioid addiction attacking and stealing our children’s lives. The painting, “Rising Above with Heart-filled Hands” depicts a single mom who had a vision of climbing a mountain with two or three sons in tow, both addicted to heroin, and finally arising out of their private hell to the mountaintop. The mountain top is where they lay it all before God and where they surrender all.
Q: What is your favorite scripture?
A: Isaiah 61! It reminds us that there is hope for the brokenhearted and paints a picture of restoration despite all the devastation endured.
Q: Where can one find your work?
A: The Foyer in Baton Rouge has many pieces as well as Studio Gallery 30A in Grayton Beach, Florida and the Dollface Salon in Grand Coteau. I am also feeling led to do trunk shows so that it becomes more of a ministry. In addition, I am in the process of setting up e-commerce on my website so cards and journals may be purchased.
Q: Share some personal things about your own life.
A: I’m a physical therapist for special needs students in the school system. These kids minister to me every day. They remind me that blessings are found in the moment. I am married to a wonderful man who is very supportive of my journey as an artist. Thanks to his encouragement, my next goal is to create inspirational greeting cards. I am a mother to Josh and Hannah who are my two blessings.
I pray that my story will help others discover who they were created to be. God did not put us in a box. He gave us wings to fly. Website: josephinesworld.com; email: email@example.com.