Sis. Anderson, tell us about yourself and your ministry.
I married Pastor Myron Anderson 47 years ago. My husband has pastored Calvary Tabernacle in Ashland, Wisconsin for the last 14 years. We began our ministry here 33 years ago as bus ministry workers. We later started a home missions work 60 miles away where we raised our three children. We now have nine grandchildren who are dear to our hearts. Although my intentions were to go to art school after graduating high school, God had other plans, and I felt my priority was to support my husband in his calling and mother our children.
How have you used your talent for God’s work?
I have always enjoyed doing artwork. Early on, I knew that this God-given ability would be used for His glory. After raising our family, God opened many doors that allowed me to incorporate art to further His Kingdom.
I have used the talent the Lord has given to me in various ways. Putting together bulletin boards, painting scenes for plays, murals and Sunday school props, along with original favors for special events are just a few venues where art has been present. Scripture is most often used as the inspiration for my work, along with the beauty of His creation.
What inspires your work?
God is the master Artist! Psalm 19:1 states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.” I am fascinated with His creation of the hands. Ecc. 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” Three of my oil paintings have emphasized the hands.
Thou Preparest a Table depicts a carpenter working on a table with a plane in his hands. This work was inspired by scripture as well as a photo of a modern day carpenter whose hands were the focus. The Earth is the Lord’s portrays the Creator gently holding the earth in His hands. After seeing the photo of a potter in the country of Turkey, I was inspired to paint, Thou art the Potter. We are His workmanship, and He is working in us. I have also painted portraits of my grandchildren. These were painted at special times in their younger years and emphasized characteristics of their unique personalities. Most of my artwork has been given as gifts, but I have sold a few pieces.
Have you had any professional training?
Colossians 3:23 encourages us with the words, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” I believe it is important to refine and develop the gifts or talents God has given us. Scripture paints this illustration in the story of the Five Talents. Those who invested and worked on increasing their talents were rewarded. Those who did not were punished.
Upon returning to Ashland, a friend asked me to take an art class with her. It was time. I have learned so much, especially in the mediums of oil and water color painting. Along with the technical knowledge and skills, the art classes have allowed me to create new friendships and share Jesus with others.
Would you please share some art accomplishments?
Each year the local bank has an art show. I volunteer to help hang the show and have entered a few paintings. One of the awards is given to an entry that is determined by the viewers as Popular Choice. I have won that ribbon on occasion. I make sure the entry has a significant title such as Spring Up O’ Well, Peaceful Past and Preserved. This initiates interest and hopefully a conversation. I also have had opportunities to share an inspiration while doing a chalk or painting demonstration at a ladies meeting. Matthew 5:16 states, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” How can people see or know about Him if we hide our talents or refuse to share them?
What advice might you give an aspiring artist?
First, pray for the Lord’s direction. I would suggest making yourself available in the Sunday school. This ministry is almost always in need of artistic ideas. Dramas, crafts, classroom sets and story units coupled with vacation Bible schools and outreach events provide a plethora of opportunities for godly artists. Not only can one share artistic gifts in a meaningful and lasting way, but an artist can play a part in the eternal Kingdom of God.
Please do not wait to share your talent. Procrastination only hinders your chance to help in the Kingdom. Begin while you are young.
There are so many areas to let your light shine. Acquire some professional instruction to enhance your ability. I have been able to encourage some of my grandchildren who have been gifted in this area by getting together with them, having classes and teaching them what I have learned. Scripture encourages us to invest in the next generation. It says in Psalm 78:4, “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.”
What are some future aspirations?
In the near future, I would like to take some watercolor classes. This is a medium I enjoy very much; however, if I had to choose a favorite in regard to painting, I would pick oil paints. I enjoy the richness of the color and have found that it is forgiving if a work does not reach expectations at first.
For the future, I aspire to portray the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. I have this work started and look forward to its continuation. His atonement and the price He paid for the salvation of the whole world is something I hope to capture with oil paint.
For more information, please contact Sis. Sharon Anderson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.