Laura Walker is a talented and prolific artist in Cullman, Alabama. She paints lively and colorful works of art for people all around the world. She was instructed under her mother, Pamela Willingham, who has been a prominent artist in the area for many years.
Some of her artwork is whimsical, like this piece titled, “Selfie”.
Other pieces are highly emotive- such as her piece titled, “Grief”
Laura has a bright, bubbly, and enthusiastic personality…she loves live and loves to be an inspiration in the life of others. She enjoys life with her husband and three beautiful children.
I asked Laura if she would be willing to share a little bit about her life for this blog, and she cheerfully agreed to.
I have always loved art. When you are an artist, that passion is within you from childhood. My mother, Pamela Willingham, is a talented artist and teacher. She was a wonderful source of inspiration as I grew up. She used to let me paint on her paintings, sitting on her lap when I was a toddler. Art has always been a part of my life.
Very often, when I still had young babies, I stayed up late just to have a moment of time for painting. I often sacrificed sleep for the nourishment of my soul.
After my 3rd child was born, I became very weak and sick with Lyme disease. I spent 3 years not being able to function normally. Many afternoons I had to be in bed, shaking with a 104 temperature. I could not walk much nor take good care of my family. That was a difficult, dark time in my life.
After we moved back to Alabama, my mother took care of me and my kids to give me a chance to rest and heal. I started going to a holistic healer, Martha Whitney, to see if I could find a solution to my disease. Within 2 months, amazingly, I was functioning normally again! I was elated. I returned to my art slowly, as my health was restored.
In the 8 years we have been back in Cullman, I have been the business manager at the Art Shop Around the Corner, a studio and gallery owned by my mother.
I began by teaching art classes, working till 6:00 PM each night. Although I enjoy teaching, I needed more time to be with my children. Many of my supportive friends joined me in praying that I could rearrange how I made my grocery money so that I could be home with my children more. As my art orders increased, I was able to hire a fabulous employee, Cassady Oden, to take over my art classes. This freed me to keep the art shop open while I painted during school hours. After school, I am blessed to be home with my children.
Right now, most of my art purchases are custom paintings of houses, pets and homes, from my Etsy shop. My goals for the near future is to sell my “soul art” (the art I do from my heart) more regularly. I hope to keep developing the market for people who love my soul art.
The most influential book in my life and art is the Bible. I gain much encouragement and joy from my faith and prayer life. We are so blessed!
My mother and my Granny, Sue Persall, have been great encouragements to me. My mother has mentored me in my art career and in being a mother. My granny is always kind, excited about learning about natural living and health. Plus she has a gentle encouraging faith that always fills my heart with love and gratitude. Both sides of my family (the Willinghams and the Persalls) have been a blessing to me, providing much needed support, encouragement, and a safety net to try to follow my passion.
I try to teach my children daily to find something they are gifted in, passionate about. There is risk in following your heart, but the rewards far out weigh the monetary rewards and safety that that I might have had with a different route. I feel so blessed to live in Cullman and still be able to pursue my passion for art.
Do you know someone who has an inspiring story to share? If you send it my way, I may be able to share it here, as I will be featuring one inspiring person each Saturday.