I write today with a grateful heart. One year ago, we launched this website and began our art blogging journey. I am so incredibly grateful for countless reasons! So if you’ll permit me, I want to offer a humble “thank you” for so much.

Grateful for Laura

First, “thank you” to Laura for pushing, prodding, and sometimes for forcefully challenging me to write. When we started this adventure, I was just the web person. She was the creative one; I was the administrator. gratefulLaura, I’m grateful to you for seeing something in me that I have not often seen in myself. You looked at someone who was IT-challenged and writing-timid to see promise that is still being developed. You are so talented, and the beauty of your art enriches my life. I’m so grateful for our business partnership, but even more for our friendship and most importantly, our shared sisterhood in Christ.

Grateful for Our Readers

When we launched The Art of Encouragement, I often wondered, “Who will read this?” On my darker days, I still wonder why you do. And yet here you are. Not just my mom (though I’m grateful that she does read) or my friends, but folks I don’t even know. Maybe you saw it on a friend’s Facebook page, or maybe you stumbled here looking for something else, but you came, you lingered, and you read. I pray you leave often encouraged. I’m grateful for your time and for your comments. I read every one and try to respond to them all. 

Grateful for Other Art Lovers

We’re just getting to know you, joining Facebook groups, posting in online forums, and posting Laura’s art. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Your comments and appreciation spur us on to create and share more art with more people. You remind us that beauty is meant to be shared.

grateful for art lovers

Grateful for our subscribers

Facebook actually just congratulated us on gaining our 30th follower on our business page. We’re hovering around that same mark here on the website. I say a little prayer of gratitude each and every time I get that sweet email from Mail Chimp letting me know that someone else signed up on our website. We are rolling out a little something special for you next week, so be watching your in box there. If you haven’t yet subscribed, now is a great time to jump in and see just what that something special is!

Grateful for our families

grateful for family

I know it sounds cliché, but it is true: We wouldn’t be on this journey without the support of our families. My husband has endured countless frustrating moments as I’ve tried to decipher CSS, HTML, FTP, and a host of other acronyms I’m still not sure I understand. Each week, he lovingly reads and edits my blog posts. He’s a teacher, so I value his grammarian skills! My children have heard me say, “Just a minute, I’m working…” more often than I’d like, yet they always want to see the beautiful art on Miss Laura’s website. On a recent art adventure, I asked the girls, “Can I post this on the blog?” They enthusiastically replied “YES!” And I know Laura has her own stories of her family’s support and encouragement. We’re so grateful for you.



grateful for kids

Grateful to God

Most of all, we are grateful to God, without whom there would be no beauty, no creation, no life. He has taken that which is unlovely and unloveable and through the Gospel made us beautiful. When we create works of beauty we reflect the One who made us. We are beyond grateful for His love for us.

© August 2012, Laura Gabel, "Winter with My Lover". Charcoal, 10 x 12. Private collection.

© August 2012, Laura Gabel, “Winter with My Lover”. Charcoal, 10 x 12. Private collection.

It has been a tremendous year, and we’re excited to see what the coming year will bring. Our trusty Google Analytics tells us that our numbers are up; more of you are stopping by to read and look. Thank you. If we’ve encouraged you in some way over this past year, if the artwork here delights your eyes and your hearts, would you be so kind as to leave us a comment and let us know? Even better, would you share our site with a friend? We want this to be a place of beauty and encouragement, and those things are so much better shared!

Thank you for walking on this journey with us.



Dee · August 25, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Michelle – you are such a smart and intelligent woman. You sell yourself short. I am so proud of all your accomplishments. Love you!

    Michelle · August 26, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Thanks, Dee! Love you too!!!

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