My husband Mark and I have been walking around our neighborhood daily (sometimes twice) to get outside and work off the lasagna and other home made comforts. Look, there’s another one! Who is making these?
Someone in the neighborhood was making something of their own – huge colorful banners for their yard: A strong blue eyed nurse presenting the word “Love” for World Health Day; the word “Victory” rising up out of darkness with the sun shining its rays onto a garden; a collage of happy images surrounding the words “Find Joy in the Little Things.”
That did it. I had to find out who was behind this. The third banner was the first one I’d noticed that had an artist’s name on it. So I began my social media digging.
This is how I “met” one of my neighbors – anthropologist, muralist, fine artist and faithful believer Kristine Schneider. We met on Instagram. Kristine spent several years in non-profit management, but recently decided to dedicate more of her time to art and family. She credits her faith in God for leading her to this life change. However, within a year of this decision a pandemic drove us to isolate ourselves from others. A self described introvert, Kristine said she “melted down” when her church stopped public worship. “I realized that I use social gatherings of people who feel the same way I do about something (whether its God or art or other people) to fight off feeling isolated and to replenish my personal stores of hope, love and belonging.” Already involved with the local art community in The Woodlands, TX, Kristine decided to share her creative talent with the neighborhood – through social media and in real life. With her “Victory” banner, Kristine shares a message of achieving victory over fear, uncertainty and darkness in these times.
In her fine art paintings, Kristine normally documents observations, but with the pandemic, she felt the need to remind people that they are not alone, to be grateful and that victory and miracles still happen. So she got busy making new art and displaying it in a new way. She turns old bed sheets into her canvases and hangs them between two trees in her front yard.
Kristine and her family live at a corner, on a road that travels around our local pond. Walkers, cyclists and people driving by can all enjoy her inspiring messages.
On our walk this morning, we found this one called “Mothers Are Magic.”
I’ve learned a lot about Kristine over the last few days and plan to feature her fine art in an upcoming essay. But this was just to good not to share quickly. Happy Mother’s Day and hang in there!