This week we’re featuring artists from The Creative Kind, a Facebook Auction Group, The purpose of this group is to create original works of art to be offered during a monthly auction where part of the proceeds from each piece sold will collectively be given to a charity of the artists choice. This month, a portion of the sales will be donated to the Innocence Project. The auction will be held June 23-24 on Facebook.
Our first artist, Natalie Mecham, will share more about herself and the origin of The Creative Kind.
I grew up in Utah and spent much of my time exploring the Utah wilderness. Art has always been a big part of my life, if I wasn’t outside exploring, I was hiding out somewhere drawing. My father passed away when I was about 4 years old so I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and my brothers. One of my favorite activities to do with my grandparents was to look through the wood piles on their property searching for stray kittens. Many summers were spent with one goal in mind, find a kitten and tame it so I could have a pet. It was when I was with my grandma that I was encouraged the most to create art.
After being married for a few years my husband and I decided to grow our family. We soon discovered we had fertility issues. In 2011 and after years of trying we finally found out I was expecting twins. It was around this time I started to experiment with watercolors. Unfortunately, I went into preterm labor and our twin boys were born at only 23 weeks gestation. They lived for two days. I continued with my new love of watercolors and it was this art time that helped me through such a difficult part in my life.
About a year later I became pregnant with twin girls. It was a difficult pregnancy with many trips to the hospital to stop labor. I gave birth to my girls at 29 weeks gestation. After 2 months in the NICU we were finally able to bring them home. I slowly got back into painting, first painting things to hang in the nursery. Then I started painting for other people, this began a whole new journey in my life. I noticed a big change in my art, I went from painting mostly landscapes or images that had little meaning to me, to painting more emotional pieces.
I am by nature a very quiet person. My art gives me a way to communicate with people and share life experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Each year my husband and I buy and donate Christmas gifts to children in need. After our boys passed away, we made a point to always choose at least two boys from the Salvation Army Angel Trees. Since 2011 this tradition has grown and we now buy for many children. In 2016 I decided I wanted to provide Christmas for more children. During the month of October, I used all the money from my art sales to buy gifts for 15 children. The following year I invited some artist friends from all over the world to join me in an online auction called “Art for Christmas”. Together we raised about $4,000 and provided Christmas for more than 20 children.
In 2018 The Creative Kind was born. I feel fortunate to have found such likeminded individuals to join me in my desire to spread kindness using art. Each month we host an art auction in this Facebook group, and then donate 20% of our proceeds to charity. There are 4 other artists besides myself in this group, each of us in a different state spread throughout the US. We have over 2,000 members showing their support for us and the charities we donate to. Each charity is near and dear to our hearts, we have donated to more than 20 charities. Our selected charities vary widely, from animal rescues, environmental causes, as well as support for underprivileged children, veterans, and women.
In both 2018 and 2019 we donated to the Salvation Army Angel Tree program in Idaho Falls, Idaho, providing Christmas for many children. The tradition that began with my family is now something special I share with many friends. We have donated more than $15,000 since we opened our first auction in July 2018.
I am and continue to be inspired by these artists to be kinder, more thoughtful and more creative in my everyday life. I am forever grateful to have them as friends. It is amazing how we can join together and use our passion for art to put more kindness into the world.