My name is Tianna Williams. I am an artist in every sense of the word, and have been for as long as I can remember. I guess that’s what happens when a musician and a graphic designer get together.
As a little girl, I loved sketching and colouring and creating. Whether it was a cover page for a book report, a birthday card for my mom, or a drawing of a saint to share at the dinner table, I poured my heart into it.
When I was about 12 years old I received a set of pastels and acrylic paints and all the necessary brushes and sketchbooks for Christmas. For months I painted or drew (pastelled?) numerous pieces. I used anything for reference—candles on the kitchen table, dancing figures, a quaint bridge spanning a trickling brook.
After a time I became discouraged with my lack of talent and began to pursue other hobbies. When I was sixteen I began my career as a graphic designer, and I was fully enveloped by the digital medium. Then one year my sister received a Wacom tablet for Christmas, and I began to explore the realm of digital painting.
It was a fantastic launching board. Creation after creation spilled from my fingertips and appeared on the screen. Without realizing it I learned the mechanics of colour and shape and shadow. Online art communities offered a safe place to share my work and receive constructive criticism. I even managed to sell some of my work through the help of my father’s online ministry.
For some reason I was daunted by the idea of returning to a traditional medium. I liked Photoshop. I liked that I could so easily pick a colour or undo a mistake. But from the first moment that I tentatively dipped my brush back into paint, I was hooked.
I’ve discovered that there is something intensely spiritual about painting. Perhaps it is the abandonment necessary to pour oneself into a piece, or maybe it is recognizing that I myself am little more than a brush in the hand of the Artist. As I have painted the faces of Mary and the Saints, I feel as though I have developed a beautiful friendship with these holy souls. Each one has challenged me in a unique way—one may call me to perseverance, another to patience, or yet another to simplicity. Time and again I have experienced that flood of grace that has allowed me to do what I know I am not capable of. I am deeply humbled to have been called to this, and profoundly grateful.
Like the spark that sets a fire ablaze, it is my prayer that these images will bless you and bring a little bit of beauty back into the world.