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Heart Art Saves Big Time • by Cherie Wilson

Cherie WilsonI have learned that this artful experience, or HeartArt, as I like to call it, comes about in two ways. First, like the surf, art comes in and out … and saves us. Over and over this happens … almost having a rhythm. Then, there are those times when Art saves big time. When Big Time tragedy hits, or when life just gets extra messy, and we need to figure things out. When we need a Big Save - like no other, art is there.

Art has been such a personal and soulful experience to me. It is a journey that I cherish. I always say that artists are some of the greatest explorers I know! There is a sense of bravery and boldness, yet tender insightfulness and a discernment not just of the eye, but the soul no doubt. Heart Art is certainly a journey, and a valuable one at that.

Art has always been a part of me since I was a little girl. I seemed to gain confidence through and enjoy art more than anything else. In high school it was my fulfillment and focus when many others were playing sports or music, I was playing with art supplies. I can look back now and see how even then, I was drawn to vintage style art, but didn’t know it fully.

I went to college for art, but became pregnant. One of my most vivid memories of college was having morning sickness in the art studio on campus! Alas, my only one other passion came to fruit that year - to be a mommy. Suddenly life seemed to move fast and furious.

With marriage and babies, art took a different form and became more of something I expressed in decorating or cooking. Because I was on a very limited budget, it was an inspiring journey I look back on. It became the discarded sheet that made a curtain, or the garage sale teacup that cost 10 cents to match. The particle board floor in the entry I painted. The 90-year-old farmhouse wallpaper and kitchen cabinets I stripped with the handsander I got for my 25th birthday, and on it went.

It seems life moved even faster but art kept up. Many things happened along the way, many changes good and bad but at this point, art seemed to be all about making a home. Even so, divorce & depression happened and with it, a new realization of my faith and new beginnings. I moved on and met and married the man of my dreams, had my 4th daughter three years later and found scrapbooking to indulge my extra needy artful self into. I am so thankful for this time in my life when everything was going great, but mostly, that I finally realized that art was such a valuable form of expression and precious place of abandon and freedom that I so needed. I was grateful for this newfound art journey.

Grateful, because I would need that insight for the year 2007 like no other. That was the year (give or take one) that Art Saved me Big Time … so Big. This was the year that, my beloved best friend and soul mate was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that a trusted bookkeeper neglected my husband’s business sending things into a spiraling mess, and last - but not least, my daughter had a life threatening disease (one of those no one feels comfortable talking about) and was couch bound much of her senior year.

I never felt more isolated in my life. Frozen solid with fear and no one to help me absorb or direct my broken thoughts, or my broken heart. How could I? Dump on my terminally ill, best friend Sharon? My husband’s brain was shot at the end of his very long day. Of course not my daughter that I spent many hours with, nor the other three growing girls. With a strong faith, pen and paper … glue and an explorer’s heart, I began to play. I knew two things: I had to play and I had to pray. Some art journaling … then paint came to play … and of course my camera was always ready … and on and on I played and journeyed through the painful season … stripping my friends wallpaper, sewing for her daughters new room, making her son’s baby book she wanted to leave him … keeping my home appealing and providing a sanctuary for my husband that he so needed. My vocabulary and heart grew as I shared truths and love to my daughter that I was learning as I art journaled and studied scripture. God was saving me big time through what he knew would reach me! Art was saving me BIG TIME. It still is thankfully. It is a journey and an expression of each soul who braves to journey. The sky is the limit it seems. I’ve had the opportunity to sell locally at an incredible boutique, Lola Rue. I’ve traveled to art events to meet amazing women, learning new techniques and passions. Stitching and solder to name few. Painting a large canvas to live music at an event, blogging and even speaking about it and teaching HeartArt to young girls … growing and learning all the while on this artful journey. I’m amazed as I write this, at where all art has taken me, and it stirs an excitement in me for what’s to come!

To wrap up this part of my story, of Art saves … my dear friend went out in a blaze of glory and I still experience her beauty, my hard working husband’s business is as good as ever, even in this poor economy, and my precious daughter is doing well and has her own place. She is on her own incredible art journey as well … and her room here at home has been turned into my beautiful art studio of 2 years now. I am so very grateful for it all. Yes, oh yes, Art saves. Big time.

To learn more about Cherie, visit her blog at

Cherie Wilson


Thanks for sharing your story, Cherie! I'm so glad to know you!!

I am so glad you shared fragments of your soulful heart, with us. Your story is powerful and makes everyone know who read it, how important art is. It can feel the cracks in our heart and give us a way to express feelings, we sometimes can not. xXx
Thank you for sharing your story, your soul~

Love you, girl! Xoxo Natalie

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