Artist of the Month: Olivia Watts
This spring the Lee Clarion Staff is introducing the 'Artist of the Month' project, where one student each month will be publicly recognized for his/ her creative talent'aside from being displayed in the Mayfield Annex or Communications building'and be able to express one's inspiration for their work and share the story of their favorite pieces.
At age 18, junior Olivia Watts gave her life to Christ, and in return, God called her to be an artist.
'I had never done art before that moment,' Watts said,
Already enrolled at Lee University, she changed her major to art in order to pursue this calling, despite her lack of experience.
Last fall, Olivia studied art abroad in France, along with one other Lee student, challenging and perfecting her artistic skills. For eight weeks, she worked side-by-side with a French university professor, where she gained constructive feedback and valuable experience for hours a day.
This semester, Olivia plans to take the skills she shaped and use them to carry out her calling.
'I see the world's beauty through God's eyes,' Watts said.
Watts said she feels God created her to see the world through his eyes so she could transfer that beauty into art for others to see and to glorify.
'There is nothing important enough, other than the Lord, that inspires me to do art,' Watts said. 'My art doesn't normally display traditional Biblical themes, but it always tells a story of the Lord working in a particular season of my life.'
The featured paintings titled 'From Dust to Dust' represent a personal story between Olivia and an old friend.
It also tells the story of Adam and Eve, both are peacefully dying. The half eaten apple and snake beside each body represent the oblivion and sadness that coincides with the fall of creation.
'It's about spiritual death; it's about learning to put things to rest just as I had learned during that season of my life, in order to move forward and allow God to renew me and guide me onto a path of beauty instead of pain'life instead of death,' Watts said.
Watts encourages other artists to take their time in creating.
'Anyone can train their eyes to see like an artist, but not everyone can train themselves to have the patience that it takes to be an artist,' Watts said.