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Daily Inspiration: Meet Brenda Cross

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brenda Cross.

Hi Brenda, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I have always had a creative streak. I wrote and illustrated stories as a child, and as I got a bit older, I learned to knit and crochet. I developed a love for creative writing, particularly poetry, throughout high school and college. But I had never considered painting until my husband and I bought our first home.

My husband Louis has an art degree but never enjoyed painting. I hoped to convince him to paint a large piece for our living room wall. Louis surprised me with a canvas and the promise to create a painting for me on our first anniversary. One afternoon, we started practicing with acrylics, and I quickly found that I enjoyed painting. I struggle with an anxiety disorder and have battled depression on and off since college. I found that painting helped me cope with my anxiety. Painting is a tangible expression that keeps both your hands and minds active. I shared a few abstracts online, with positive feedback. I told my husband that I had decided that I wanted to paint the artwork for our living room. Since I had started painting at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I learned from other abstract artists online and found support from a community of female artists on Instagram. I did eventually paint “Wanderer” later that summer on the canvas my husband had bought for our anniversary. The painting was recently part of the ‘Abstracted Abstraction’ exhibition at St. Louis Artists’ Guild.

I have been painting for over one year now and have participated in exhibitions at Art Saint Louis, Soulard Art Gallery, and St. Louis Artists’ Guild. In March, I completed my first series ‘Beyond the Horizon’. I recently auctioned off a painting for the 16th Annual Art of PAWS.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I struggle with confidence. It is incredibly easy to compare myself to other artists, especially on social media. I overcome self-doubt by celebrating my wins and successes, no matter how small, and by leaning on people I trust.

Creating and sharing work that is vulnerable can be emotionally challenging. My first work on exhibit was “Redacted,” a mixed media piece about my experiences as a survivor of sexual assault. It was important for my mental health to give myself breaks when creating such a personal piece. But creating work that is authentic and doesn’t shy away from traumatic experiences is rewarding and advances the healing process for myself and others.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an acrylic and mixed media abstract painter. I enjoy the freedom that abstraction provides. The possibilities for my future work are endless, and I am excited to continue to experiment and evolve my process and style to create beautiful modern work.

My goal is to use my art to help support the work of amazing local St. Louis organizations working to advance causes that I care deeply about, including women’s rights, racial equity, public health, and more. Participating in Vivent Health’s 16th Annual Art of PAWS is one way that I am able to fulfill my dream of blending my passion for creating with my desire to support positive change in our communities. This art auction supports PAWS, a program that helps people living with HIV/AIDS to keep their pets as long as possible by providing pet food and veterinary care assistance. I plan to continue to support programs like this in the St. Louis community.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
I quickly learned that it is rare to find inspiration. Often I simply need to pick up my paintbrush and palette and start, even when I don’t feel motivated to create. Some days I like the work that I create, and other days I get frustrated when I am not satisfied with the work that I produce. The important thing is to keep coming back to the studio. Show up for yourself and your art.

Pricing:

  • I have artwork available at a variety of price points, starting at $45.
  • Everything ships free on my Etsy shop.

Contact Info:

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