Watercolors, paints, fabrics, ribbons, papers and bright pens surround Pam Coxwell in her Opelika studio, as she folds a sheet of paper and looks over her collection of paint colors. For as long as she can remember, Pam has been drawing, painting and making crafts.
Over the years, her art has expanded to include prints, cards, ceramic tiles, children’s designs and Christmas ornaments. Nearly every piece of “Reminders From the Heart” art features a Bible verse, as Pam’s vocation is also a ministry.
Pam moved to Opelika from Dothan during her junior year in high school. After graduation she took an art class then purchased books on art and taught herself.
When she and husband Terry were expecting their youngest daughter, Allana, Pam was placed on bed rest. To pass the time lying on the couch, she began experimenting with painting shirts. With the assistance of her mother and sister, she arranged a work area around the sofa.
Later, when Terry’s aunt and uncle opened a craft shop Saw Miller’s Daughter, they persuaded Pam to paint some items for the shop. At the time, Pam was giving her paintings away. “I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to buy them,” she says.
By word of mouth, Pam’s talent spread. She began painting mailboxes, T-shirts, clay pots, floors, walls and found objects, including old furniture on the side of the road.
As she expanded her art designs, she began taking her work to art shows and festivals. Her husband constructed furniture and cut designs from wood for her to paint.
Their daughters have assisted in making products and selling. Their daughter Ashley, who is a graphic designer/artist, is the displayer and organizer, while Allana has been operating the cash register since the fourth grade.
Pam began painting what people wanted and whatever was popular at the time. Some of her clay pots were featured in a Better Homes and Gardens Craft magazine. A South African Christian magazine for teen girls used her designs in an issue.
“As I became busier and busier, it forced me to decide what I was going to do,” says Pam. “I felt God wanted me to paint reminders from His Word. Life is often hard, and people need to be encouraged. Throughout the years I have painted so many reminders about hope and promises from the Bible, but there are still so many more that I want to do.”
Pam only had a few designs for children, but requests began coming in for children’s décor. The birth of her grandson, Micah, sparked a greater desire to paint designs with reminders for children. She created children’s designs that would complement popular bedding sets and incorporated a scripture into the art.
Most of her other art pieces also highlight a Bible verse. “I see my work as a ministry,” adds Pam. “It is a business and involves a lot of time, and it can be very hard work. It is the ministry aspect that keeps me going and able to endure through the hard times.
“When people come into my booth, they are attracted to the artwork. As they look closer they will see and hopefully read the verses written around the picture I painted. Often, when I look up in my booth and see it full of people looking and reading the different verses, I pray that God is using it to speak to their heart.
“It is a way to spread God’s word and to have the verses in people’s home. I believe it is a vehicle to have scripture in places to encourage and give hope.”
Some ideas come to her during personal Bible studies, sermons and songs. Customers will request a certain verse on a piece of art, and she will create a custom design. The scriptures have opened doors to talk to people. Sometimes she is asked to pray for someone.
Pam carries prints and seasonal designs in a variety of sizes with the design repeated on ceramic tiles, note cards, mouse pads, bookmarks, bag tags, magnets, buttons and other items.
Each Christmas she creates a special ornament and cards with a theme. This year she is featuring “Be still and know….” With this theme, she has designed snow girls to accent tree ornaments and cards. She has selected fabrics in holiday colors for creating fancy, vintage costumes for the snow girls.
Ornaments from past years are also available, each with a theme word, such as love, faith and hope. Along with ornaments and cards, she offers tiles and shirts with her Christmas designs.
The Coxwells still travel to festivals most weekends during the fall months. She mainly sells her art at festivals, online or at her home studio.
To contact Pam at her studio call 334.745.3161 or order online at www.fromtheheartart.com.