A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words -Little House in Appalachia

A year ago this month, I was just starting to consider doing art as more than just a hobby. I had always loved painting and drawing and I had little projects I would work on during summer breaks and snow days off from school. But I never really felt secure enough in what I did to paint for anyone besides my mom. Enter my sister-in-law, Amanda. Last winter, she commissioned (her word, not mine) me to paint a piece for her mom. 

Amanda’s mom had grown up visiting her grandma’s home in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. She had fond memories of the homestead, the hills, and the winding country roads of her childhood. But her grandmother had since passed away and the house now stands empty. It’s become dilapidated, a shell of what it once was. 

Here’s the snapshot my brother sent me to base the painting off of. 


Even though the house is run down and not in its former glory, the beauty of art is that you can restore it without doing an actual renovation. I wanted to do that for Amanda’s mom. 

As I painted, I thought of the stories that are a part of that picture. What makes something significant is not the place itself, but the memories that are part of the place. I pictured her mom as a girl running in and out of the front door, lounging on the porch, exploring in the yard. I imagined the love she had for her grandma. I saw the house as it once looked. 


Many of the things we preserve are just memories. But sometimes we have ways of preserving those memories in physical form. 


I discovered that there is great joy in taking something simple and maybe even a little ugly and returning it back to the beauty that it once had. I love that this piece is more than just a picture, it holds the remembrances of former joys. 

When I heard that Amanda’s mom cried when she opened it, it makes it that much more special. I’m grateful to be a little part of this story.

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About birdsandberry

Etsy Seller, Art Enthusiast, Blogger, Jesus Lover, Teacher
Image | This entry was posted in A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words - Custom Art Pieces, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words -Little House in Appalachia

  1. Kylie says:

    I love the idea of “beauty restored,” it’s really a picture of the gospel and how Jesus restores our hearts too! This reminds me of our trip to Scott, Ohio with you guys this summer. Driving by Grandma and Grandpa’s house and going to the Scott store were so reminiscent and sentimental for me. It was so fun to be back in a place where we all had so much fun as kids just being kids. When my Grandma Ida sold her home in Michigan, it was also very sentimental for me. I loved that house. Before it was sold, I took my point and shoot there to take a bunch of pictures of little things that I associated with the memories of her there. I’ll have to show you on Facebook. The truth that “it’s the memories that make it meaningful, not the place itself” is a very reassuring thought!


  2. you are very talented!


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