A love for painting with watercolor as taken on spiritual meaning for Sedalia Visual Art Association member Linda Rhoads.

Rhoads, 72 of Sedalia, owns Artsong Studio and works out of her home. She has a religious-themed exhibit at the Sedalia Municipal Building along with Linda Hoover and Jack Dieckman. Rhoads began painting with watercolor in 2000 after attending classes at State Fair Community College. But recently, she’s being inspired to create work with vibrant colors and abstractions all with a spiritual ambiance.

Rhoads said on Wednesday, God’s creativity is all around and that’s what inspires her every day. She often hears people say they believe they can’t be creative.

“I really believe that because we’re created all of us, by a creative God that whether it’s photography or writing or painting, I think everybody has something creative in them,” she said.

“My dad did welding and he did basic stuff in the beginning,” she continued. “But when he got older, he did little angels. So, he let that creativity come out … he was so proud of that.”

She said artists often stop themselves from creating due to their insecurities “instead of putting what’s inside on paper.”

“That’s what I’m doing now,” she said. “What’s inside of me is coming out and I love that. It doesn’t matter so much what other people think, if you know you’re doing what you’re supposed to do.”

When Rhoads first began painting she often created detailed buildings, trains, images from the Missouri State Fair and people doing activities. Her work is now changing direction and her current exhibit reflects this spirituality.

She often paints at church as she listens to worship music, although her most poignant work comes from the quiet of the evening hours while sleeping.

“Probably the thing that touches people the most are the ones that I get at night,” she explained. “I’ll wake up and it will just be there.

“So, I’ll do a quick sketch and then I just pray over it,” she continued. “I just wait.”

Her painting “I am the Vine and You are the Branches” came to her at night as she was sleeping. The painting illustrates a grapevine with outstretched limbs that transform into robed people. After painting the colorful piece, she noticed the trunk of the vine resembled Christ and she painted a crown at the top of His head.

“I got woke up in the night and it was all there,” she noted. “I painted that in like two hours. I felt like everything the Lord has been giving me has been color, color. So, I felt like He told to make (the robes) all different colors.”

She said the different colors represented “all the people that are serving Him and producing fruit.”

Rhoads has revived her art by working with a “rainbow” of colors. Another piece in the show is Jacob’s ladder and features rainbow triangles coming down from the sky. She added her new work has a touch of realism in it, but much of it features abstractions.

“When you look at everything around us, (God’s) stuff isn’t boring,” she said smiling. “So, I think that’s what I’m getting now more than ever (is color).”  

In her studio, Rhoads has a board with ribbons from the shows she’s competed in over the last few years. During her art career, Rhoads has been in the Missouri Top 50 competition twice and has had work in shows with Watercolor USA and the Missouri Watercolor Society.

She plans to have work exhibited this year in the upcoming SVAA shows at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Hayden Liberty Center Association for the Arts.

For more information, contact Rhoads at artsong_ps33@charter.net or 660-473-0846.

Arts & Entertainment Reporter

Faith Bemiss is a reporter for the Sedalia Democrat, covering general assignment, arts, food and entertainment stories. She can be reached at 660-530-0289.

(1) comment

Noli Irritare Leonem

Very neat! I'm looking forward to seeing her artwork.

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