Anne Neilson | The Brushstrokes of Life | Faith, Angels, and Painting

John FarrellBy John Farrell4 Minutes

Anne Neilson has a lot on her plate … or palette … or canvas.

It doesn’t matter which word you go with, all three would be appropriate in her case. Neilson is a wife, mother, artist, author, and philanthropist. She has been married to the love of her life Clark for almost 30 years, and they have four adult children.

But beyond those titles, there is another title she is just as proud to call herself … a child of God. Ever since she was 8 years old, Neilson has loved God and felt connected to Him. She wanted to create something that reflected her faith and glorified her heavenly Father. That’s where her artistic side comes in.

Neilson knew from a very young age that she had always wanted to be an artist. In the third grade — when she eight — she had to write a report on what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her answer: an artist.

Fast forward several years to 2003 when she painted her first angel. She wasn’t sure what others would think so she sent it first to her sister to get her thoughts. Her sister told that she had found her calling. The angels are a beautiful representation of her faith, but Neilson is quick to note that we shouldn’t worship angels, but instead the God who created angels.

Twenty years later and countless angels later, Neilson is still painting the ethereal figures. She is also still writing. Her eighth book, The Brushstrokes of Life: Discovering How God Brings Beauty and Purpose to Your Story, releases on April 18, 2023. While some of her earlier books are devotionals or coffee table books filled with her paintings, her newest book is more her personal story. Instead of her paintings, the book is filled with what she calls “Brushstroke Moments.” It is those brushstroke moments in everyone’s life that God can create a message, and in that message there is hope, grace, and mercy.

When Neilson starts to paint, one of the first things she does is turn up the praise music on the radio because she it feels it connects her, God, and the painting. And why shouldn’t there be a connection between the three because God is the Master Artist.

Beyond her own art, Neilson is an advocate for other artists. She features and displays art from approximately 60 different artists from across the world in her gallery — Anne Neilson Fine Art — located in Charlotte, N.C. In addition, she has created a line of Anne Neilson-branded home products featuring her art. The line includes Scripture cards, notecards, prints, journals, and candles.

Recently, Inspiration Ministries had the privilege to sit down with Neilson in her studio to talk about everything from her artistic muse to why she paints angels to the painting she gave to Stephen Curtis Chapman’s family to her most recent book, The Brushstrokes of Life. Watch the interview above.

Order your copy of The Brushstrokes of Life: Discovering How God Brings Beauty and Purpose to Your Story by Anne Neilson

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