After graduating college with a degree in Communications and Journalism, I spent nearly 5 years writing for a travel company before quitting my first job after college to travel to 11 countries in 11 months on The World Race (look it up, it's amazing!) and blogged my way through my experiences, read about it here!
This trip changed my life. When I returned home, I knew I needed to find a job using my writing skills with my passion to serve Jesus and help those in need.
After several months of job searching, and working at a local coffee shop in the meantime, I landed the most incredible day job at non-profit Feed My Starving Children here in the Twin Cities. I've been there for 3.5 years and it's been amazing!
My painting story
It all started in the summer of 2017 on...you guessed it...Minnesota's beautiful North Shore! If you've ever been there, you know what I mean. It's mesmerizing. Lake Superior is fringed by cliffs, boulders and rocky beaches filled with treasures of agates just waiting to be found. A nature-lover's paradise. My happy place. I was cabin-ing with my parents for the weekend and my dad said something to me I'll never forget.
"Jess," he said, "I can just see you sitting out on those rocks and painting!"
I stared at him for a minute and smiled to myself, wondering where THAT thought had come from. But deep down inside I knew he was right. There's always been a desire in me to create.
I love to write. I was made to write. It's what I went to school for. It's what I am doing now. I love writing. I dream of writing a book someday.
But I've always dreamed of painting, too. There are so many times I've thought or prayed, "I wish I could paint like that!" But it always seemed like just a faraway wish on a rainy day...until the summer of 2017.
After my dad said those words to me, the idea wouldn't go away. I prayed about it. Wondered about it. The desire to paint just kept growing and growing, until I couldn't ignore it anymore. So I decided to "just do it." I gave myself room to experiment and "just try." After several failed attempts with watercolors, I tried acrylics and loved their texture and flexibility! Acrylics are currently my medium of choice.
Starting this painting adventure was the best surprise and has turned into such a joy. Every painting is a learning adventure - a process of layer upon layer of paint colors and brush strokes. I love getting to do something artistic that takes me away from a computer screen and gives me another creative outlet.
I never dreamed God would answer my prayer to be able to paint, but He is so faithful and good and delights in what delights us - because He made each of us! He loves us so deeply and knows us better than we even know ourselves! It's pretty amazing!
Painting and writing definitely mesh well and make sense together, so that's why I created Jessie Mae Studio, a place where you can come relax with your favorite cozy mug, enjoy the scenery and swap stories with me. I'm so glad you're here!