Hello there, I’m Ashley Marie Nelson. Some know me as Amarie, my artist handle. I’ve set out to create this online space to reveal my growth as not only an artist and a maker, but in light of the Maker. So as to say, it’s not about what we do, but why we do it.
The Big Picture:
I hope to share information that I’ve gathered over the years about art techniques, mediums and styles, and also about what I have learned here on our little homestead. In the midst of that I hope to encourage and grow in the knowledge of Christ. Never heard me talk like this? Please hear me out… I’ve neglected, for the last decade, to include Him in my process and journey, saying “I will do this, I will accomplish that, and become this person, to bring glory to myself…” all to reach an utterly empty place of “success” with no true joy.
I stepped back from creating anything for the sake of my business recently due to that realization. I acknowledged this year that through all that I’ve accomplished in my career as an artist and business-woman, that I had never committed my work to the Lord, and thus felt nothing but emptiness about the goals I pursued so passionately. I was willing to do the work, but ultimately in the name of vanity. These were not necessarily conscious efforts of vain pursuit, but the slowly fading steps away from the one who sparked it in my heart in the first place.
The Back Story:
I love to craft, draw, paint, sew, weave, cook, design and seek creativity in all nooks and crannies. However, I was subconsciously excluding the Maker of all things, all together, saying “I love you Lord, but I’ll take care of this.” Most people who know me today do not know me to be a believer, for I’ve held my love tight inside, unwilling to face my anger towards God and his church.
I was put in a position in my early adulthood that slighted me towards the church. I had felt deceived, misguided, and judged and for what? The God I knew in my heart did not look like that. So I retreated and simplified my whole (newly-bitter) outlook to a state of I’ll just show love to myself and others the way I want to. This sent me down a treacherous path without any real direction, and not to mention: totally void of Love himself. but all the while God kept me safe in my pursuits of others besides him. Though I still struggle with the model of the church today, I have found that God has similar heartaches with the church, and he still has grace and hope for them/us. (Revelation 1-3). So I chose to forgive those people, myself and God too, because at my core I blamed him.
As a youth I sought passionately after God, in the midst of many family struggles, looking to him for direction and any semblance of peace. I clung to him. He was truly my Savior in a time I felt fully broken. Recently, he allowed me to be returned to a fully pain-stricken state, that forced me to seek him once more. To ask really hard questions. To be reminded that I’m not in control and that I cannot play God. I am so grateful for this wake up call. So, hopefully you’ll forgive the seemingly preachy tone… and allow me to simply be candid about the behind the scenes of my work and life as an artist and human.
Tying it All Together:
So how does this translate to this artistic platform and what can you expect to find here? I’ve been asking myself those same questions since I took the jump and set this website up initially. I’m a planner and a visionary, always aiming to make sense of the pieces. So I inquired: How will my renewed perspective to keep God at the center look? Will I be quiet and subtle about my focus shift? Open and transparent? Will it flow as needed? The answer is I’m not entirely certain. It will often be a combination of all those parts, if I can truly convey my vision. This is by no means a way for me to make money or profit or stand on a soap box. I just want to share the artistic/lifestyle knowledge I’ve gained and be open about the heart space I work from. Here goes something.