Joyce MacPhee, Ft Lauderdale, FL Member Since January 2008 Artist Statement It wasn’t until I was 48 in 2000 that I was moved to start painting again. As a teenager I had developed a style after my favorites- Vincent Van Gogh and Jasper Johns. My husband Scott and I were almost done raising our 3 children (Lori, Ian & Debra). My Savior & Lord Jesus Christ showed me a way to avoid the “empty nest syndrome”. I started to express myself by painting. Commissioned by friends and coworkers, I painted anything they requested- a lighthouse, a sunflower, a cowboy at sunset. I especially liked anything that was patriotic. It was the spring of 2001, just months before 9-11 changed our world. Friends teased me that my paintings of the American Flag and the Statue of Liberty were overly patriotic. I was soon joined by most fellow Americans in concentrating on honoring these symbols and all the men & women in military service & who are first responders. With time this unity & honoring has faded for some people- sad to say because we need to unite now more than ever! Back in July 2002 the controversy raged over the phrase “One nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance (some wanted to delete it but most wanted it to stay). The Mayor of my town, Gastonia, NC (near Charlotte) asked me to bring my paintings to the July City Council meeting. As the Mayor opened the meeting with the pledge- the City Council members held up my 7 “Pledge of Allegiance Series” paintings. I was glad to be a part of that meeting. I am glad to be retired from my job as security officer @ TSA. My mother was sick the past year and died Feb 9th at age 88. For that whole time I was by her side and that creative 'flow' was not happening as I have been grieving. I'm glad to report that the fog has lifted and now I am painting again. Thanks so much for your interest!