Jennifer Jones, a born and raised Abilenian has pursued and cultivated her God-given gifts, and this is just a small glimpse into her story and the birth of her business, Glimpses of Glory.
It all started with two creative and entrepreneurial parents. Jones’ mother loved flowers and filling their home with eclectic beauty. Her dad referred to himself as a problem solver and had dozens of patents and businesses throughout his career. Both parents encouraged Jones to dream, to pursue dreams, and to think outside of the box and because of their influence, she recognized early on that the glimpses and dreams she held were a part of who she was at the core.
Her dreams were also encouraged by mentors in her childhood who spoke life into her talents. Two of the most influential people in her artistic journey were her first art instructor, Maisi Sirois and her high school art teacher, Jeanine Rollins.
Sirois taught Jones to love her artistic process and perspective. She encouraged Jones to not be influenced by the way others created.
Rollins praised her love of color and discovery. She encouraged Jones often to ‘keep on seeing’ and never rushed the completion of her projects because, with Jones, more time often meant more depth.
These encounters were steps in the direction of loving and valuing her perspective and Jones realized that seeing the world through her eyes sometimes looked different, but that it was her unique way of making a statement.
The simple things that she loved doing while growing up helped her discover more and more about her view and she found ways to keep challenging the artistic way she saw things. As a teen, she would lay at the bottom of her family pool as she gazed at the clouds, took in the sky, and noticed the tree limbs hanging over the water. It was one of her favorite things to do. From her view, the water enhanced the colors, and the idea of abstraction was born into her artistic repertoire. This form of entertainment brought her peace and joy, but as soon as she would see her mom’s nervous face peering at her above the surface, she knew she had stayed under too long.
“Taking the time to be still and discovering God’s hidden gifts of beauty in that stillness made me lose track of time,” Jones said. “It always has.”
As a young adult, Jones began pursuing her dreams on a more focused level as she attended Hardin-Simmons University and majored in art. She remembers skipping her core classes to spend more time in the studio. Dr. Ira Taylor, her advisor, professor, and man of God was an incredible mentor for her in those formative years as Jones discovered on a deeper level the artist that she wanted to be.
Jones finished her collegiate experience and got married. During her new normal, she found herself creating less and less. Jones and her husband had their first child in their first year as newlyweds and before she knew it, they were raising three children.
“I didn’t truly value art or creativity at that time, so I put it on a shelf,” Jones said. “I got so busy being a wife and learning how to be a mom that I didn’t have the capacity to do it. I always had a longing to create but could never find the time to be still.”
During that season the Lord began to draw Jones deeper and deeper into her prayer life. She would wake early in the morning before anyone else and open her Bible. She loved to journal, and, in that journaling, she often wrote scriptures and questions for God. In 1999, this ritual led to a life-altering moment. As she participated in her quiet time, she heard the Holy Spirit say, ‘I want you to paint like you pray.’
The Dance of Creating
That phrase, for Jones, felt like the toolbox of what she’d learned in studio classes was closed and as she learned the new process of painting like she prayed, He introduced her to the ‘dance’ of creating with Him. One color at a time, one shape at a time, one line at a time; she fell more deeply in love with Him and the process He was leading.
After months of creating in this new way, Jones felt like she could breathe again and she found herself longing for the times she would get to sit with Him, to dance with Him, and see what landed on her canvas.
“When I asked Holy Spirit what we did together I heard, ‘we open windows from Heaven to invade earth’,” Jones said. “I get to catch glimpses of that glory on my canvas as we create together.”
And Glimpses of Glory began.
Since the adjustment in her style and approach, Jones tries to be in the studio every chance she can.
“I love being still, sipping a warm cup of coffee and soaking in worship music while I prepare for the day. It’s my happy place,” Jones said.
As for the pace at which she works, the timeline from piece to piece varies. A large cold wax oil piece can take up to two months to complete. A smaller acrylic piece can take just a few days. When a painting gets close to completion Jones sets it up and ‘watches it’ for a while. She finds herself asking the Holy Spirit to highlight what she might not be seeing.
“It’s at this stage that I discover hidden images in my work, and I LOVE THESE DISCOVERIES,” Jones said. “It always reminds me of the verse, ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings’ (Proverbs 25:2, NIV).”
In addition to studio time, Jones paints on stage about four times a year during Beltway’s Released Retreat and Encounter nights, and describes painting live as such a unique experience that is one of her favorite things to do. Jones will also be collaborating with her husband, a gifted writer and poet, to create an installation at the Center for Contemporary Arts called ‘It Began in the Garden’ in the fall of 2024.
When asked about her talent, Jones said, “Perhaps I am a bit like the ‘little drummer boy.’”
“I have no gift to bring
That’s fit to give our King
Shall I play for you……
I played my drum for Him
I played my best for Him.”
To discover more about Glimpses of Glory, you can visit www.glimpsesofglory.biz.
By Nicole Fletcher
Photos By Shayli Anne Photography