It all began in elementary school, when Jane Nail discovered she had a talent for art in the fourth grade, with a special eye for still-life drawings.
Her art teacher in the Greenville Public School District introduced her to drawing with chalks, pastels and colored pencils.
“(My teacher) made it possible for me to go to summer art school,” Nail said. “I was very shy. As most artists, we (tend to) have tender hearts and never feel what we draw is good enough.”
But she truly found her niche in her teens when her sister, Judy Deason Tipton, began doing “chalk talks” at local churches. Jane would always assist Judy as she would draw and tell stories from the Bible. She helped her sister, and when she was in her 20’s, she was confident enough to do her own “chalk talks” at churches in Grenada and Leland.
The “Chalk Talk” is a program where the artist illustrates Bible messages or songs – many artists sing and/or preach while they draw. Nail uses black light to illuminate her messages through art. She said she speaks sometimes, or plays music and speaks after she finishes a drawing. Nail does read the Bible scripture that goes with the drawing before she begins to draw.
She had a good start, but for a while, Nail put down her chalk.
“Some problems in life took me in a different direction,” Nail said. “I still drew, painted in oils and gave them away.”
Nail did drawings and paintings for family and friends, for Vacation Bible Schools and fund-raisers, but she had gotten away from her “Chalk Talks.” She knew God was leading her back into that type of ministry, but she was resistant.
“All of the time, the Lord was nipping at my heels to do my Christian chalk drawing,” Nail said. “Every time I heard Christian music, or Christian singers, my heart would be filled and long to draw. I know it was God calling me to do my ‘Chalk Talks.’”
In 2013-2014, Nail made a new commitment to draw as God leads and according to Nail, God has always supplied her needs. It was at that time, she created Christian Chalk Art Ministries by Jane C. Nail of Kilmichael.
Nail was able to take a few online classes in black light chalk and preparing paper. The classes also helped her get up-to-date on new ideas and techniques for chalk drawing.
“So now, by word of mouth, I go and draw God’s word in chalk as I see it or as He has me to see it,” Nail said. “I call it my version of God’s word and Jesus parables in the Bible. God guides me, and supplies my needs! God is Good!”
Myra Hill, the pastor’s wife at Poplar Creek Nations Baptist Church in Poplar Creek attended a “Chalk Talk” demonstration at the church last Spring.
“It was really good” Hill said. “She plays music while she works then tells a story with the picture she has drawn. She is a really sweet lady.”
Nail does drawings by appointment, and asks for at least a month in advance to prepare. Her programs are special and unique to the group or program to whom she is presenting.
All drawings are done for a love offering to help with art supplies and travel expenses. For more information, contact Nail at (662) 858-0481, or text (662) 230-4245, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message her on Facebook at Christian Chalk Art Ministries.
This story is featured in the October 20, 2016 edition of The Winona Times at http://winonatimes.com/winona-slideshow-carrollton-slideshow-news-lifestyles/inspired-faith