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Coffee with David Arms at His Gallery in Leiper’s Fork…

One day before we moved to Franklin, I was noodling around the Internet and I discovered an artist named David Arms whose gallery is in an old restored barn in Leiper’s Fork. I was intrigued…and then…

I discovered David’s art and for a moment, I think my heart stopped, because what I saw was an almost surreal capturing of light through intricate layering of color with nature’s bounty as the subjects of the work. I had never seen anything like his paintings.


I never imagined that one day his art would hang on the walls of my home and I certainly never thought I’d be sitting with him in his gallery at the Barn in Leiper’s Fork.

Nope…not for one second did I think I’d be doing this.


A most memorable two hours…


But it happened and it was the most perfect way to start my day…coffee with David Arms at his gallery. So pour yourself a cup of coffee…sit back and enjoy some inspiration from David.


We didn’t just talk about art…we talked about miracles and God…and Africa…and books…and hope…and birds and what it all means…and because we don’t really know what it means, I’m just going to share some of what we talked about over a rich cup of coffee.

Painting came a bit late by the world’s standards to David’s life, but it all started with an empty frame and a big wall… and it began as an abstract, brightly colored floral! What? David sadly admits that he cut it up. He painted as a stress reliever from his career as a corporate events planner and painting was therapeutic, but then…his work started selling and then he had two careers! But one month after his first daughter was born, he took a break and he never went back to coordinating corporate events.

I asked him if leaving the security behind was a leap of faith and his answer surprised me. “Yes, it was, but it was all happening in such a way that I had to trust that this is what God had in mind for me. He also did it in a way that made it clear that I shouldn’t take credit for it happening.” And then he referenced his favorite quote from the novel, Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry.

“Nearly everything that has happened to me has happened by surprise. All the important things have happened by surprise. And whatever has been happening usually has already happened before I have had time to expect it. The world doesn’t stop because you are in love or in mourning or in need of time to think. And so when I thought I was in my story or in charge of it, I really have been only on the edge of it, carried along. Is this because we are in an eternal story that is happening partly in time?”

Oh…those are some very powerful words. Of course, I picked up my own copy of Jayber Crow and will be reading it very soon.

David’s studio is at his home and it’s just 8 steps outside the back door. It’s unlike most artist’s studios because it’s a personal sanctuary rather than a paint splattered, white-walled brightly lit studio. He paints surrounded by the things he loves and that includes the birds that are featured in so many of his paintings…here’s a glimpse inside his studio. It’s the most delightful haven and it’s inspired me to do some serious renovating of my own office. (This will happen slowly…carefully…and methodically…not my usual formula.)


Because I haven’t been to David’s Studio, I borrowed this picture from his website.


You should know that David finds miracles in the smallest details. It’s evident in every painting and detail. How is it that one man sees a miracle in the veins of a leaf or the colors in a single feather while so many of us never see a thing? “Anything that comes straight from the hand of God, is a miracle. Look at a rock…rocks are amazing…man cannot make a leaf or the intricacies of a flower…watch a bird…each bird is wired differently. If we put down our phones and look, then a miracle is only a step away.” I think fall is a perfect time to look at all of the miracles that surround us.


I came home and spent some serious time just studying the leaves on my Oak Leaf Hydrangeas… remarkable.



I want to share all of our conversation with you and there’s so much more…so stay tuned because Part 2 is coming tomorrow. We’ll talk about books, and the art and the gallery and hope and how to find it.

Today was a blessing and I wish y’all could have been there.


My heart swells when I step inside the Gallery.


Will you share this message of hope and beauty with a friend and leave me a comment if you’ve had the opportunity to visit the David Arms Gallery.

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