Just call me Anne.

A first name says a lot about a person (all things that the person herself doesn’t even get to choose). Is it common or foreign, familiar or disinviting? Is it hard to hear or pronounce? Do people forget it or remember it because of its connectivity? Ever since I was a little girl, I always wondered why my parents wanted to call me Cherise. They didn’t even speak French (though my dad might have been half French). I once met a world renown physician-professor. She had changed her name. She said, “No woman named ‘Jenny’ gets published in medical journals. So, I legally changed my name to Ann.” This was ten years after I had decided to go by Anne in college.

But, somehow, my husband Bill found out that my first name was Cherise–in one of my college classes, and always called me that (I don’t even know how!). So, when we got married, I became known by my first name to others.

I still prefer Anne. It is simple, easy to hear, easy to identify with, very common, and I never have to repeat myself when I am on the phone. Can you imagine how many times I have to begin saying to someone on the other end, hang on, I’ll spell it out…”Charlie, Hotel, Echo, Romeo, India, Sierra, Echo…” Yet, that is my “Christian” name. So, I decided to sign my artwork as “CAS.” If you find my symphonies or other works, however, those will be under many a pseudonym. But, that is for a different blog.

I got into painting when I was about thirteen. My mother gave me all her old oil paints and said “Have at it.” And, I did. Ever since I was eleven, my joints have dislocated causing excruciating pain, and tears or breaks requiring surgery. Later, I developed other hard things like cardiac related difficulties. Often the Great Author of our lives does not lay out a script and tell us to read it. That would require no faith and no struggle. But, beauty lies in the faith and in the struggle. Painting has become sort of an oxygen tank to me as I cope through the loss of many things I love. We all have hard things and wonderful things. Painting is a wonderful vehicle which helps me see the world as beautiful, and I thus try to capture everything around me. And then, life becomes a place full of gifts, of mysteries, lovely things–instead of a place of loss. Occasionally, you might find pieces that deal with loss too–as that is a part of life. And so, the representation of truth in this manner can also be beautiful. I find that God wants us to pursue Himself. He is the object of our affections, of our ambitions, of our goals, of our being. My art comes only through tremendous struggle and turbulence. But, for this I give all glory to God, my Maker. I will meet the great Master-Creator one day, and I wish for him to say to me, “well done, good and faithful servant.” Until then, my hand is ready with a brush as I bring beauty, life, and truth everywhere I go.

I teach Music and Art during the day

I double majored in college and delight to give all my gifts away to others. This happens through music at a local school during the day.

Process and Method…

I most often paint as a study. But, direct catharsis happens even in the studies (unless I have to throw the whole piece away from a lack of some awareness–which does happen at times). I have decided to post all of my 2020 works–not because they are all great works of art because the process and failure is often more important than the success.

“Don’t quit your day job” but then your day job becomes your passion…

I love teaching art and choir. And, I LOVE chasing down some good theory or reading/writing a symphonic score.In 2009, the Lord blessed me with the grace to be in the Meridian Symphony orchestra. I played trumpet. That same year, I was asked to compose an overture for their twenty-fifth anniversary. I wrote two piano concertos, and had them play one of them. It was a great joy and gift to be able to do such a thing. It is a taste of heaven to be able to do two things that I love so much, art and music. I know this is a gift.

What I Do

But back to painting!! It allows me to step back from the internal or external turmoil that I might feel and just focus on one thing. There are so many questions that a painter must ask–dozens and dozens. The process is engaging and exhilarating. Indeed, it is just as Blaise Pascal said in Pensees. It is the perfect diversion! And, who would have thought that a “diversion” could be a way of life? A habit? Something that is life giving?! Marvels to behold as God bestows such gifts!

Let’s make something together! Tell me what you want to see and I’ll paint it!