I’ve painted ever since I was a young child. Art was a safe place for me and a way to work through a turbulent childhood. Growing up in an alcoholic household made things unsteady and frightening, but drawing and writing poetry were how I worked through anything that made me sad or scared.
This desire to offer hope and encouragement is the intention behind my art. I am a self-taught artist, painting almost every day. I also write and publish poetry and feel these two are linked for me. Words and images are closely tied in telling a story of faith and confidence about the future. There is a beauty in words that really speaks to me.
I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My artistic talents were recognized early on in but it wasn’t until my late 30s that I began to pursue them professionally by painting the covers of my poetry books.
Over the years, my painting has evolved from oils to acrylics to now, a collection of paints, inks, pastels… and many different kinds of ephemera. I enjoy adding lace, music sheets, book pages, and anything with handwriting on it, like old notes and recipes. I enjoy these small, personal elements and feel they add a comforting element to my art.
I’ve been influenced by a variety of artists, but my favorites are the emotive works of Vincent Van Gogh and the mother and child paintings of Mary Cassatt.
Several years ago I fell in love with mixed media. I was able to add words, collage elements, and a variety of mediums that made painting a new journey, one that was about uncovering the image I wanted to convey as much as it was creating it. Adding layers of paper and paint and words felt like the bridge between my art and writing I’d always longed for.
Along with the images I create, I like to include my original poetry and Bible verses on my art. I paint with bright colors and whimsical images to show the light of a world beyond this one, where there is only hope and possibility.
I have written dozens of poetry, art, and nonfiction books. My latest is Painting the Psalms, a combination art book and devotional.
I also like creating functional art products so people can surround themselves with art in various forms. Things like tote bags, devotional decks, and mirrors are among some of the things I sell in my booth at art shows.
In addition to shows and exhibits, I also teach classes online and in person. My art pieces and prints are sold in artsy shops and galleries throughout the Midwest. For more, visit my website or catch up with me on Instagram.
Cherie Burbach is one of 112 artists included in the 6th annual Small Works exhibition at Main Street Arts, a national juried exhibition of work 12 inches or less. Small Works runs through January 3, 2020.