Contributed Photos

Above is a painting by Alyson Carlson. More paintings can be seen and purchased at www.etsy.com under the page name of Faithpaintins or ArtbyalyStudio. 

Nebraska art teacher uses her talent to glorify God through faith paintings

It is Alyson Carlson’s belief that if God has given a person a talent, they should find a way to use that talent to glorify Him. 

For years she taught her four children, now grown, this concept, but admits she did not live it out herself.

A K-12 art teacher at South Platte Public Schools in Brule, Neb., Carlson loves art and loves to teach. It is her passion. However, during a Bible study at her church on the book “The Purpose Driven Life,” she felt that God was calling her to do more with the talent He gave her. 

For years, Alyson had only taught and created art work for others, but never from her ideas or for herself. 

“I never thought they would be good enough,” she said. “I was beginning to see that not using my art talent was disrespectful to the Lord and a waste.”

Along with teaching school children, Alyson also conducts community art classes in the town of Grant,  Neb., where she and her husband Mike live. It was after one of these classes that Alyson began her journey. 

“I stayed after everyone left and I thought, ‘I’m going to paint something I want to paint,’” she said.

She wasn’t sure exactly what God wanted her to create, but He soon let her know. 

One evening on her daily run down her rural country road, the texture of the gravel caught her eye, as well as the colors of the setting sun and fields around her. 

“I have always loved texture and color, and I thought that is what I’m going to do,” she said.

After incorporating texture and vivid colors into her paintings, Carlson includes scripture to each painting. 

She is proud of her paintings, and not worried any more about if they are good enough or if people will like them or not.

“I know why I’m painting and who I am painting for. I feel if God gave me this talent, and is leading me in using it, He will use it to His glory.” 

Inspiration for her paintings is everywhere. From a sermon at church, to something she reads, a situation a friend is going through, to God waking her up in the middle of the night with an idea. All of them have influenced her Christian paintings.

The paintings come in many sizes and colors. Some small, around 8x16, while some are as big as 20x20, and many other sizes in between.

As she continually added to her collection, the next step was to figure out a way to sell the paintings. 

Carlson admits that business sense is not her strength, so she asked friends for ideas in how to make her work available to the public. Many of them recommended the website Etsy. Items that are sold on Etsy are all handmade, and Carlson felt it was a good fit for her work. 

Carlson just recently launched her Etsy site under the name Faith Paintings or ArtbyalyStudio. To find it, go to www.etsy.com and search for her page. 

Carlson’s goal with her paintings is to honor God by blessing others with art, but she would also like to use the money she makes to bless those in need or special projects, and also to help pay off her home, so she has more time to spend serving God and her family when she retires.