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Art Throughout my Life • by Cindy Forrester

I first remember creating art when I was in the third grade. One day in class we had art and I drew a tree with a lot of detail — the teacher loved it so much she kept it displayed in class the rest of the year. That was the first time I realized I could draw. I also remember seeing a painting that my Aunt Donna created of a ship on black velvet; I was in awe of her work and totally inspired to keep drawing. I never had anyone teach me how to draw — it just seemed to come naturally, and I realized this was something I could do that was a part of me.

I really realized how important art was to me in the seventh grade. My teacher Betty Mattox always encouraged me to do my artwork; she said that I could do anything I wanted to if I would just set my mind to it. Anytime I have ever been discouraged and thought about giving up, I always remember the letters and words that she wrote to me. She also kept every piece of artwork I did in her class; she would not allow me to have them, something that made me wonder at the time. Then, I saw her a few years later and she asked me if I was still drawing and painting. She told me that she had kept my work and that the paintings were now hanging in her home. Sadly, she passed away a year later, but the impact she had on my life and art I carry with me always.

My Art Life Today
Now, I have several different mediums that I work with. I have painted with watercolor, acrylic, and encaustic paints. I love painting on canvas, old furniture, and murals. I have been blessed to have my artwork commissioned by Corporations and Stacey Compton (Nascar Driver) and hung in the home of Country Music Legend Ricky Van Shelton. Recently, I have started doing pencil and sepia tone sketches and putting them into belt buckles that I fabricate out of sterling silver. I have been looking for a way to bring together the drawing and metalwork.

I also love soldering sterling silver. When I first started out making jewelry in 2007 I took apart vintage pieces and reworked them, then I learned how to solder by referring to Sally Jean’s book Pretty Little Things. From there I started soldering vintage filigree pieces and rhinestones onto to everything. I soon got into my head that I actually wanted to learn to solder metal, so I researched and read everything I could find on it and taught myself. That is when my passion for making jewelry really kicked in. I have been able to make my own settings for stones, boxes to hold resin, etc. I feel that this has given me the freedom to create whatever I can imagine. I have a love for nature and old things so I refer to my jewelry now as “modern vintage.” Some of the pieces I hand cast in silver from vintage buttons or organic objects from nature. Even with more modern pieces, I still strive to give them a look of something old even when I’m technically creating something new.

Art Has Saved Me
I do feel that I have been saved by art. I grew up in a home with a father that was an abusive alcoholic and needless to say we grew up differently than most of the other kids we went to school with. We experienced terror and darkness that no child should ever have to see. We were not allowed to participate in things that other children did, so I spent a lot of time alone. I would go out in the woods with my sketchpad and just absorb nature and God’s beauty all around me … art was my escape, it saved me from despair, and it made me realize that it was OK to be me and that God had given me something I could be proud of that no one could ever take away from me. Art was my way of expressing all the emotions that I held inside. God is who saved me and I am so thankful that he gave me art as an instrument to keep me going in bad and good times. Now, so many years later, most of my days are happy days and I still cannot imagine my life without art.

Learn more about Cindy Forrester at


Thanks for sharing your's touching to know how art saves in so many different situations...and especially when you are younger and feel you have no way out.

A beautiful art saves story. Its not always easy to open up and be honest but it is such a part of who we are- I am glad you did. Your work is beautiful.

Cindy your work has always inspired and moved me. So much more now that I have read your story!

Wow! What a touching story! Art is such a powerful thing! I love being an art teacher and everyday I hope I am making a difference in someones life. Thank you for including my blog post about Strawberry Freezer Jam! It is an honor!

Your work is beautiful Cindy, and you have a real gift in it! You are a true artist!

Cindy, I am so glad you were able to share your story. God has given you many talents and you are using them to reach others.

Thank you all. My story was a hard story to share but I decided it was time. My life has been quite a struggle but by God's grace, healing of the heart can happen. My wish is that my heart will always be open to others and in some small way whether thru art, listening or just being there I can help.

xo Cindy

Cindy, thank you for sharing your story and how God gave you grace and healing. I always enjoy visiting your blog and I am glad you referred us to Jenny's blog to read this. God Bless!

Cindy thank you for sharing this story. as we know Cindy you have been and still are my favorite Jewelry artist. God is great how he works to help us get to be where we are supposed to be in life. You are truly blessed. And so am I to know you. xo Laura

Cindy, your story is really touching and full of hope. I am so thankful that our paths have crossed and value your friendship. Thank you for all of the inspiration you have given to me!

Cindy, thank you for sharing your story, I know somewhere there is someone who is being encouraged thru your sharing, right now.

You have been given such a gift by God, not only your incredible talent, but also in your special, sweet and caring heart. xoxo Lidy

hey pretty girl! i enjoyed reading your story. i'm so glad you had these wonderful teachers and people along the way to encourage you. your work is spectacular...and so are YOU!

Your story is very touching; Thank God for teachers and those
around you and us, that bestow encouragement! It can pave a path to one true self! You are given a gift, I'm glad you can pass it on and share your story! I am sorry about your past, but glad that art helped you escape and evolve to now!

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