Gena Deeds-Page is a Christian artist who has survived a chaotic family life (including raising and homeschooling her two daughters), a long string of pets, an often precarious financial situation, and her calling itself. Often she is called to give her time and support to friends struggling with everything from emotional abuse to depression, sometimes taking people into her home if they have nowhere to go. Through it all, she has retained a glorious exuberance, a child-like innocence, and a genuine love for God that is reflected in her work, and time and again, when faced with the choice, she has consecrated her work to God, never compromising her beliefs, and never compromising the quality of her art.
As a child, Gena Deeds-Page had a fondness for art that quickly developed into a fascination with people. Sketches from her teenage years tend to show hair falling just so, or this pose or that pose that she found intriguing. High school friends still have early portraits, in ball-point pen on notebook paper, done in classes in exchange for taking notes while she drew. She once turned in a paper on Michelangelo late, and unfinished - but all her notes were strewn with studies and sketches of his works, meticulously recreated with fascination and attention to detail. As she grew older her love of art and humanity deepened, as her shy nature gave way to a wry sense of humour, and her sweet sketches of young girls gradually grew into studies on the works of Caravaggio, or Georgia O'Keeffe.
Now, more than thirty years later, her enthusiasm for her art has never wavered, and with each project - each mural she donates, each portrait she creates, each abstract she draws out of shells and driftwood - she throws herself into her art with the same reckless abandon you can see in all her work, and the same adoration of every tiny detail, her entire focus captured in the idea of recreating the spirit that she sees. Whether it is splashing vivid, sunbright colors across the unfolding compass points in her vision, or painstakingly shading the dimple on the cheek of a baby, too young to hold still for its portrait, Gena's love of color, texture, and the human spirit leads me, time and again, to pictures that I could only have imagined. Love will out, and the talents that she has consecrated to her God have become a stunning testimony to His majesty, and the fascinating life that He has given her.
Soli Deo Gloria.
- Genevieve Page