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Joy Varnellcomment (0)

April 25, 2013

By Julie Payne

Joy Varnell

Northpark Baptist Church, Trussville Birmingham Baptist Association

Favorite Song: “I Am”

Hobbies: Art and gardening

Family Status: Married for 19 years to Tim; four children: Adrian, Alethia, Monique and Shallon

Joy Varnell (www.joyvarnellart.com) is an artist and muralist who specializes in live event art. Varnell began drawing as a child and started painting after college. With her live event art, she paints on the spot for various events such as weddings, parties and corporate milestones.  She also does worship painting at churches where she paints on stage while music plays.

Q: What influences in your life pointed you to Christ at the beginning of your faith journey?

A: My mother. ... Everything she did, everything she experienced, she related it to Christ. That’s what I remember most about the way she influenced me in that way. She could look at something as simple as a flower and say, ‘Who could look at that and not believe?’” She saw Christ in everything.

Q: What does your work demand?

A: Basically what I’m doing now as far as getting up in front of [a] congregation at church or at weddings, it … gets me out of my comfort zone a bit. (Also) I have to be … disciplined to get everything packed up and ready to go. 

Q: How do family members support you in this work?

A: I have children, and any time I do [a painting] at one of the churches usually I’ll have one or two show up because they want to see it. My whole family has been very encouraging about it — they’re all very supportive.

Q: What do you get from this work?

A: It’s very fulfilling to me. ... When I paint at churches that’s my witness. Sometimes people will ask for the painting … or I’ve had people to be very emotional about it, especially someone who has never seen it before. It keeps people in mystery when you first start painting … where you are going with it … and usually they are very surprised. 

Q: What difference will this work make for you in the future?

A: Basically where it has led for me now is doing the weddings and that type of thing. … It’s just something I can do to contribute, and when I talk about it I smile.

Q: What difference has Jesus Christ made in your life?

A: He has completed my life. Without Him I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know where I was going, I didn’t have any purpose for my life. And He has completed all of that.

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