This entrancing piece of artwork was created by Beyond the Brush member, Marie Helyar. Marie joined the community back in September 2019, and her story is one of strength and courage.
In 2018, Marie suffered the loss of her husband. She struggled with depression and anxiety as she tried to find her way. She needed a purpose to live again and found it in photography. Immersing herself in tutorials on how to use her camera, Photoshop, and Lightroom, Marie was able to begin shutting out the barrage of videos that were constantly playing through her mind. One of these tutorials happened to introduce her to Julia Kelleher.
After following Julia on Facebook, Julia directed Marie to Elevate Your Art. Marie joined Beyond the Brushes in hopes of making her photographs more painterly and found that the community taught and became so much more.
Unsure of herself since she had no prior experience with painting or drawing, Marie took the plunge, joking about how she can't even draw stick people. Since then, her view of herself has changed...
"I have learned so much from Michelle and her team. They have given me the confidence to produce art that I am very proud of. Michelle’s style of teaching is amazing, and having the one-on-one coaching where a reviewer will give you instructions on your own images is outstanding."
However, this year has come with a unique set of challenges, and this is where Beyond the Brushes truly lives up to the "Beyond" part of its name. Marie spoke of how the community has functioned as a lifeline during her time on lockdown. "I felt I was part of a family where I could communicate with people from all over the world."
It is with a great deal of practice, determination, and perseverance that Marie is the artist she is today. And, my friends, that cannot be taught. Even with this painting, Marie has demonstrated her courage and growth. Photography requires everything to be sharp and in focus, and the "Stanka Kordic style" is exactly the opposite of that. Might I add what an amazing job she did! 👏
Thank you, Marie, for sharing your heartbreak and humanity during a time when it is so needed. Your strength is an inspiration, and I look forward to seeing how far your paintings will go.
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