November 11, 2022
October 27, 2022
October 27, 2022
Two years ago, when Rishell Graves started painting, she had no idea it would become something more, let alone something she could use to help people.
Graves started painting in 2020, aiming to find a hobby during quarantine.
“When the pandemic started, of course, we were staying home and I was really bored,” she said. “I found courses online and took some of them, which made me comfortable trying to paint.”
It wasn’t long before Graves noticed an emerging theme in his works. Although she doesn’t know much about painting, she said she would have an image in her mind and do her best to replicate it. She found that she most often leaned towards painting women, normally in nature or dancing in the moonlight. Goddesses.
“I started to realize that I was leaning towards all these goddess paintings,” she said. “In my dreams or just in my thoughts, I would get a picture of a particular woman and then just try to sketch her. Some of them are on canvas and some are on paper, but I was just drawing and painting it.
Graves said the prevalence of the moon in her drawings likely stemmed from the fact that she painted an image each full moon and themed the image around the full moon. For example, she said that for the harvest moon, which appears in September, she made a picture with growing corn.
Another good thing about painting moonlight goddesses was that she could do silhouettes, because she didn’t know how to paint realistic faces. She prefers to focus on the background and show either a woman’s back or her figure.
Originally, Graves did not intend to paint only women or goddesses, but she said it felt right.
“As a woman, I just felt there was a lot of strength in portraying women in such a positive light,” she said. “I wanted to do it.”
Graves ended up showing one of her friends her paintings, and her friend immediately told her she should create a deck of inspirational cards using her goddesses.
“She made me do it,” Graves said. “So we printed them out and the response was just wonderful. My only reason for doing so was simply to get them into the hands of people who could benefit from them. On the back of each card, there are words that go with it. Inspirational words. So most people who have the decks use them as tarot cards. You have just drawn a card and it gives you the inspiration you need at that moment.
Originally, Graves said she struggled with what to write on the cards.
“I kept putting it off because I just didn’t know what to say,” she said. “And so I sat down and prayed for the right words, and they came to me. I could barely write them fast enough. I was just holding a picture and I just knew the exact words to put with each one. .
Soon after Graves created the maps, she discovered how useful they could be for people. The woman who had helped her come up with the idea for the cards had given a game to her brother, who was hosting Ukrainian refugees in his home. According to Graves, one of the refugees was on a Zoom call with one of his relatives in Ukraine, using the cards, and the relative requested that the refugee also draw a card for him.
“So she did, and that’s called grief, and it’s about how to deal with any grief that you feel,” Graves said. “And the woman said that was exactly what she needed to hear at that time. I love this story. I like the idea that someone else in Ukraine benefited from the cards.
Because Graves saw how the cards could help inspire people, she decided to donate one deck for each one she sells. So far, she has donated to two different cancer support groups.
For now, Graves only sells her cards personally, but she plans to try to develop them and sell them commercially. She will host a launch of the maps, as well as an artist will talk about the creation process, at Moon Mountain Highway. Even after the cards have been sold on a larger scale, she still plans to donate one set for each one sold, she said, especially after seeing how much they can help.
“There’s a lady who uses them who does therapy with people, and she uses (the cards) in her therapy sessions,” Graves said. “She said people are always amazed that the card they draw is the exact one they needed to hear, which is kind of exciting.”
The map launch and artist talk will take place from 3-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 8 at the gallery at the back of Moon Mountain Highway, located at 113 W. Steuben St. in Bingen and open from 11 a.m. at 17 o’clock. pm from Wednesday to Sunday.
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