Providence, Rhode Island
“My biggest accomplishment without a doubt is not a visible one. It's the feeling I have toward my world and the thoughts that I think. It's changed everything. I am also very proud that I now make a living with my art.”
Upon viewing Rhiannon’s striking talent with a paintbrush, few could ever guess that Rhiannon is a completely self-taught artist. She has loved making art for as long as she can remember, but had not actively pursued a career in art until a few years ago, when she proceeded to teach herself to paint by studying books, videos, and hours and hours of practice. Of her process she writes: “I make art really because it's my favorite thing to do. It brings me pleasure to plan a painting, sketch it out, push paint around and then eventually have the satisfaction of the finished product. For me it's the pure pleasure of the process.”
Rhiannon’s art is a reflection of both her inner and outer journey of learning to love and care for herself. Rhiannon describes that she paints almost daily, and often creates images of women who radiate confidence, wisdom, strength and peace. She describes: “ I've struggled with very low self esteem and depression my whole life. Then I married an abusive alcoholic, which just made this worse. When I left my husband, I decided that I would heal this.
Even still, six years later, I have daily practices of prayer, meditation, gratitude and monitoring my self talk. I've come incredibly far and I would say I now have a ton of confidence, high self esteem and I am on my own team. My paintings really reflect that. The women in my paintings have this kind of regal, confident stillness. They're very proud of their femininity and they radiate. And that's just how I feel now."
Rhiannon is a participant at Crossroads based in Providence, RI which has helped her get back on her feet, into housing and connected with ArtLifting. She continues to create beauty daily through her art practice and hopes to one day “own a house by a lake with a big, well lit free standing studio in my yard.”
Prints by Rhiannon Smith
ArtLifting's empowers homeless and disabled individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork. Learn more here.