Sarah Hunt Engsberg: Discovering a New Passion

Sarah Hunt Engsberg is a jewelry artist, painter and a professional farrier. Sarah has been serving the needs of horses and equestrians in the sports of Three-day Eventing, Combined Training, Dressage, and Endurance for nearly two decades. When her horseshoeing business was curtailed due to back issues, it was a natural progression for her to transfer from blacksmithing to metalsmithing.

“I first started thinking of myself as an artist with my work of shoeing horses. It took a back injury — literally getting thrown on the ground — to take a step back and become open-minded instead of being so focused on just the one thing. So this catastrophic event helped me discover a passion for creating jewelry. I knew I would get well physically enough to horseshoe again, but I knew that it would ultimately have to look different than it did before.” ~Sarah Hunt Engsberg

Listen to Sarah’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Sarah’s Art Jewelry is created for independent-minded wearers who wish to express their personalities through jewelry. Her jewelry incorporates traditional metalsmithing, with precious gems and semi-precious stones as well as natural and man-made found objects. Her pieces are one-of-a-kind originals.

She says, “My art comes from within, but it comes from somewhere else too. The art becomes spiritual as it allows me to create and express myself, but also to express whatever it’s coming from.”

Painting is yet another avenue for Sarah to express her joy and creativity.  Bright colors, strong contrasts and a bit of a whimsical attitude are the driving forces behind her desire to paint.  She incorporates textures and colors to express the movement and energy she feels and sees in the world around her.

About the colorful nature of her art Sarah says, “I love beautiful flowers, brightly colored clothes and, of course, big gaudy jewelry. Bright colors are just who I am and I express my spiritually through that sort of brightness. Color is joyous and bright colors seem happy and inviting. I see my life as an expression of joy.”

Find out more about Sarah at www.sarahhuntengsberg.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Michael Redgrave: The Spiritual Nature of Bonsai

Bonsai artist Michael Redgrave has been the owner of Full Moon Bonsai in Marietta, Georgia for 24 years. In that time, he has become one of the premier next generation, bonsai artists in the South and has become known for high quality traditional Japanese Bonsai. His bonsai art has appeared at corporate events, art galleries and in major motion pictures and commercials.

 “Bonsai has a quiet spiritual nature of its own. In the Shinto religion, bonsai trees are still used in the ceremony. The triangle that the bonsai forms in Japanese spirituality is a connection between Heaven, God and Man — the three corners of the triangle. The art of bonsai puts you in touch with the turn of the seasons and the rhythm of flowering trees. There is a stillness that puts you in touch with Source.” ~Mike Redgrave

Listen to Mike’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Regarding his own spiritual journey, Mike says, “I have been a seeker all of my life and explored various religions and various forms of meditation. I have a Catholic upbringing and do Siddha yoga and Zen meditation. Working with bonsai has expanded my awareness. It’s a meditative art form — it brings you closer to yourself. Through interaction with the plant material, you gain a greater understanding of yourself and thereby a greater understanding of God.”

Mike has studied under many Bonsai Masters such as Ben Oki, Guy Guidry, Peter Adams, Rodney Clemens, Boon Manakitivipart and Matsahiko Kimura. In return, Mike has been a strong advocate for the fascinating art of Bonsai through teaching and sharing the sprit of bonsai with tens of thousands of people. He enjoys teaching about bonsai at garden centers, garden clubs and with his own students, as well as writing articles for his website and other publications.

Mike encourages listeners to explore their creativity. He says, “We were intended to be creative. It’s intrinsic and part of our nature. We all have that innate ability to become creative beings and it’s a great way to explore your inner self.”

Mike is a regular on the art festival circuit in the Southeast, as well as the flower show circuit and bonsai events. Through his work with the Atlanta Bonsai Society, Michael has become the main sponsor of the Japan Fest exhibit. It has become one of the most successful Bonsai fundraisers in the Southeast.

Find out more about Mike and the art of bonsai at www.bonsaimoon.com. He is a member of Trees Atlanta, The Nurserymen’s Association, the Atlanta Bonsai Society and the American Bonsai Society.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Lisa Black: Everything Radiates from Within

Lisa Black has entrepreneur blood flowing through her veins and is the Founder of Fields of Gold Farm and Greenhouse.

“I know everything radiates from within me. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the environment around me — as long as I stay crystal clear, I feel strong and empowered. My main focus is keeping my radiance where it needs to be and my frequency high so these beautiful things can come in when they’re needed.” ~Lisa Black

Listen to Lisa’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

After graduating college with degrees in Nuclear Medicine and Business/Marketing from Bowman-Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest, NC and USC-Columbia, SC, Lisa took off to explore the fields of conventional health and wellness along with starting her own business in Marketing, Advertising, Graphic Design and Public Relations in both Griffin and Atlanta, GA. Her dual passions of health and marketing led her on a wonderful journey.  While working in the Atlanta area, she gleaned from a wide variety of interests including fitness, nutrition, agriculture, alternative health therapies, networking, food, conferences, seminars, and body-mind energetics.

After almost 20 years in the marketing world, Lisa returned to the family farm in Hendersonville, NC to ‘cultivate’ a new project, Fields of Gold Farm and Greenhouse.  All of life’s roads have culminated to birth this latest project — making great health through incredible food, a major priority.  Through this passion-filled ‘God Project’, Lisa has found heaven on earth unfolding the symphony that nature offers in bringing nutritious superfood from farm to table.

Lisa says, “It’s an artist’s palette to have the creative juices flowing and roll out a project with the depth and breadth of Fields of Gold. When I came back to the family farm in 2004, I received this inspiration of possibilities. I kept hearing a voice saying ‘feed my people, feed my people, feed my people.’ That really guided me down the path. It’s certainly not just me — I’ve had a lot of guidance and support from all different angles.”

About detours and roadblocks, Lisa says, “Everything is a blessing. If we can look at those bumps in the road with different eyes and listen to the stories surrounding them with different ears, all of a sudden you’ll get the inspiration as to why that fell into place to either strengthen you or get you back on the right path.”

Find out more about Lisa and Fields of Gold at www.fieldsofgoldfarm.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Dixie Speck: Communing with God through Nature

For Dixie Speck, President, CEO and Lead Designer of Solterra Landscape Inc., plants and landscaping aren’t just a business, but an obsession. Her passion led her to leave a career in the engineering field, move to Atlanta, receive training in landscape design and horticulture, and start a landscaping business.

“I get to be outside every day enjoying communion with God through nature. After walking a property with a client, I walk through again on my own and start to get a vision of what the finished landscape could be and what plants could work well. I feel that God is leading me in that way and helping me figure out what would look great in my design for that particular property.” ~Dixie Speck

Listen to Dixie’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Solterra has gained a reputation for delighting their customers both in creating beautiful, distinctive landscapes and providing excellent maintenance service. Solterra customers know that they can request special services and it will always be accommodated.

Solterra’s clients are looking for MORE – particularly more quality and more communication. Dixie and her Solterra team have won local and national awards for landscape design.

Dixie says, “I pay attention to little details — not just the flowers and the color, but the difference in the textures of plants and how they can work together a living design. I feel like an artist on a grand scale when I assemble the puzzle pieces together to create a beautiful landscape with a variety of plant material. I’m working with God’s gift of all these gorgeous plants.“

Dixie has taught classes on landscape design for Emory University’s Continuing Education Program, and is regularly asked to speak at Garden Clubs and other industry events.  She appeared as a guest designer for several episodes of HGTV’s Landscape Solutions. Dixie serves as an expert resource for Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine and is on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Urban Ag Council. 

Find out more about Dixie and Solterra Landscape at www.solterralandscape.com.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your art and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Jill Felts: I Draw Out My Prayers

Jill Felts is Founder, C.E.O., and lead designer of Atlanta-based Compelling Creations, Inc.

As a faith-based, party plan direct selling company, the name Compelling Creations has become synonymous to marketplace ministry as the inspirational jewelry is passed from one woman to another by independent sales Consultants.

“Some people write out their prayers and I kind of draw them out.” ~Jill Felts

Listen to Jill’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

She says, “I let ideas bake. I come up with a new jewelry line by paying attention to what keeps reappearing in my life throughout the year. I just doodle and doodle the same design over and over and over again.”

Jill finds that listening and being still are important to her creative process. She says, “I feel like God already knows everything about us and what our heart’s desire is and so a lot of it is being still and letting go and just letting the flow happen.”

Since 1996, Jill has channeled her entrepreneurial drive into a passion to share her beliefs through messages and symbols inscribed on jewelry. Selling the jewelry through a team of independent sales Consultants has touched lives nationwide.

Prior to forming Compelling Creations, Inc., Jill was a project manager and account executive with several target marketing companies in Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago. Jill holds a B.A. in Rhetoric and Communications and a B.A. in French from the University of Virginia.

Jill and her husband have been married for 24 years have two daughters age 20 and 17 who have grown up in the business.

See Compelling Creations jewelry line and contact Jill at www.Compelling-Creations.com

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your stories, your art, and your comments on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Kim Oberheu: The Creative Process Forces You to Address Your Spiritual Side

Kim Oberheu holds the reins at Plants Forever, Inc. ensuring that her team stays current on innovation and trends. With a strong background in business and as an artist, she leverages her creativity to daily inspire staff members and clients alike.

“As an artist going through the creative process, you’re almost forced to address the spiritual side of things. There is something about the experience of creating that puts you up against that. It’s bringing something into existence that didn’t exist. In that process of going from nothing to something, you realize it’s something bigger than yourself. ~Kim Oberheu

Listen to Kim’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

She says, “I think it’s good to constantly go back to God and say I would like your help in this process. Especially to seek God’s wisdom when you’re coming up against something that you can’t solve.”

Prior to taking on PFI, Kim worked at Ernst and Young in their Accelerator Solutions Environments, Sprint PCS and Healthnet, as a leading sales professional. In the entertainment industry, Kim has aided in Disney Studios Feature Animation: Home on the Range with Cuba Gooding Jr., Meg Tilley and Roseanne Barr, The Academy Awards as well as several theatre and commercial projects. Kim’s design work can be seen at Phipps Plaza, Duke Properties, Doubletree Hotel, World of Coke and Coca-Cola Corporate.

When not working, Kim loves spending time with her dog “Pink” or in the drive-thru at the Krispy Kreme. Contact her through the PFI website. www.PFIBrandItGrowIt.com

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your comments and art on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Connie Quill Bowers: I’m Enthralled and Enraptured in Nature

Connie Quill Bowers is an artist, a poet and a photographer. She travels all around hiking and writing and capturing moments of immense beauty and sometimes terror with her camera and an eclectic use of her imagination.

Listen to Connie’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

“A book featuring my poetry and photography was recently published and is titled Lyrical Space. The word lyrical means rapturously. When I’m in nature, I’m enthralled and enraptured. Stories and poems flow to me and I just get into the flow.” ~Connie Bowers

She says, “When you’re hiking, you don’t know what you’re going to find. You just follow this path. I think that’s the way it is in life. You just follow this path.  Maybe that’s the spiritual aspect for me — that life is a journey. You don’t know what’s going to come up next.”

Contact Connie through her website and purchase her book. www.Lyrical-Space.com

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your stories and comments on our Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!

Molly Elkind: God Lured Me with Art

Molly Elkind

Molly Elkind is an artist who works with fibers. She says, “I love the tactility of it – the texture of those materials in my hands. I love the repetitive process of stitching, weaving or papermaking. I also love making larger works from lots of many small pieces.”

“I was away from church for 20 years. I feel like God lured me back to a life of faith through art.” ~Molly Elkind

Listen to Molly’s Art as Worship interview on Empower Radio.

Molly earned an MA in Studio Art, with a concentration in Fibers, from the University of Louisville in 2002.  Molly’s mixed media embroideries, handmade paper sculptures, wall hangings and collages, and artist’s books have been exhibited in juried shows locally and nationally, as well as being included in private collections.

In addition, Molly holds a B.A. and M.A. in English and taught this subject for many years.  She says, “Circling everybody’s mistakes and wielding a red pen as an English teacher was beginning to feel like a soul killing activity. I wanted work that could allow me to say yes instead of no. Yes to the possibilities. Yes to creativity. Yes to making mistakes and picking up and going on. Yes to that uncertain process of creating. Making art allowed me to do that. What I realized in the process of making art was that this was bigger than me. There was something else going on here besides my own brain and my own abilities. There is a creative force that is moving through me and that allowed me to come back to a life of faith.”

One of the Woven Community banners created with the liturgical art team of Molly’s church.

In this interview, Molly talks about her personal creative process and describes collaboratively creating as part of Alpharetta Presbyterian Church’s liturgical art team.

Her awards and honors include:

2009  (Sept-Oct) One-person show, Brown Art Gallery, Mercer University.

2002  Kentucky Foundation for Women. $1,000 Artist Enrichment Grant.

2000  Norman Kohlhepp Prize, Water Tower Annual, Louisville Visual Arts Association.

Molly has taught art workshops and professional development sessions in schools, museums, community art centers, and in private classes since 1999. Find out more about Molly’s work at www.MollyElkind.com. She happily accepts commissioned projects.

Listen each Wednesday at 9am Eastern on Empower Radio to hear another artist’s story. Share your comments below or on the Art as Worship Facebook page. Namaste!