Artist Interview: Marsha Zimmerman

Name:  Marsha Zimmerman   
Name of Business:  paintingsbymz
Creative Influences: God’s Word and who He created us women to be
Preferred Medium of Creativity:  paint, canvas and God’s Word!

Brief Bio:
As most women wear many hats, I am a wife to a wonderful, supportive and loving husband, Chris, and mother to two beautiful and fun loving kids, Connor and Bailey as well as being an artist.  We live in North Little Rock, Arkansas and love spending time with our family, fishing, and playing together outside.     

Links: 
http://www.etsy.com/shop/paintingsbymz


What is one of your earliest creative memories?  

In fifth grade I decided, for some a reason I don’t remember, to draw the cover of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.  Though not “creative,” it is at that moment that I realized that I had the ability to draw from what I saw.  My teacher even made copies for the class to color!  I was famous!!! 

How did you find your creative voice?

 A voice…that is something I have been searching for since I was a child.  To have the ability to speak up, unhindered by fear, doubt or insecurity is a treasure, a treasure the Lord is helping me to uncover bit by bit.  As my Jesus has brought me through many trials, rescued me from severe depression, preserved my life from many attempts by others to destroy it (including the ideas of suicide) and healed me completely (November 2007), He has revealed to me that I have a voice because I am His beloved and He is with me always.  He created me with a purpose and a plan and has great works for me (Ephesians 2:10).  It was this revelation that brought me from darkness into light that gave me hope and helped me to begin to accept and embrace who I am in Christ Jesus and the gifts God has given me.  Through this healing and new understanding that I am here on this earth on a mission for the Most High (Linda Slatton, Woman on a Mission), I have been able to surrender my life, that God may use me as He wills, and through this has come the revelation of my voice.  Over the last year, God has shown me how to put it onto canvas…what a journey!!! 



Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like?  

As a child I was always led in the direction of the medical field for that is what my dad knew and that is “where the money is.”  My gift was never encouraged, nor applauded or appreciated as far as I knew.  I did have an art teacher in high school, Ms McClain, that the Lord used to open my own eyes to the fact that I truly had a gift and also to encourage not only a pursuit in it but also in teaching art.    
“But what do you do with art?  Who would that help?” these were the questions I would always find coming at me the moment I would ever attempt to dream about the possibility of pursuing art.  I wrestled with this while in college.  I even joined the ROTC under a nursing scholarship, because I wanted to do something that mattered~ to everyone else.  But I have learned ~ the long and hard way~ after dropping out of college, and working other jobs since, that as long as you are trying to live or even function, differently than the way your Creator designed you to, you will never be at peace.  
Once you trust your Maker, that He knows your every passion, desire, need, your gifts, talents, all that stirs inside of you, that is when true peace comes, “For I will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast because He trusts in me.” Isaiah 26:3.  This truth could never be more alive than right now, for in midst of the absolute unknown in regards to my artwork, my Jesus continues to pour out daily His love, grace, mercy and provision.  Most of the people in my world right now think I am out of my mind, staying at home and painting and only having (as far as they can SEE) my husband’s income.  And there have been times of doubt, times when I was ready to give up and just go get a “job,” but moments like those are what help to assure me even more that I am right where I am supposed to be.  God’s Word spoke to me back in September, during one of the most challenging times in the last year, “Stand firm,” “Obey God and not man (Acts 5:29).”  And over the last year, He has proven Himself over and over again as Jehovah-jireh, “The Lord will provide.” He is the Provider, and “…will supply all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19).” Any gift or ability we have is from God and to be used as a tool to spread the Gospel and bring glory to the Father!!!

  
If you had a creative hiatus, what event/circumstance brought you back to your creative lifestyle?

Seven years ago, while working in my church’s daycare…, the children’s minister asked me if I could paint some canvases for her sons’ bedroom.  Then I did some work for a friend of hers…it was one of these pieces that was seen by a local gallery, August 2010, that led to an invitation to bring in some work~ work that I did not, at that time, have.  But the call came just at the time that I was leaving my overnight job from a hospital, just at the time when I was wondering what the next step God had for me (because taking the hospital job was an absolute “God thing” as was leaving the job). But honestly, painting is something I never liked, nor wanted to do, or thought I could even do well, but with the encouragement of my husband and being led by the Holy Spirit to do so, I set out on this adventure!  God has shown me how I can use it as a tool to spread the Gospel, and that it will be “provision” for the mission He has called me to (to minister to young women that have suffered from sexual abuse, depression, suicide attempts, fear, etc.).  By December of 2010 I had my first 7 pieces completed.  I did take them to the gallery but decided against this route which then led me to ETSY!!!



Is there one particular thing that you do that ushers you into a place of worship? 

Kneeling with my face down to the floor and praising my God, my Savior, and my Helper and Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

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