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Brittany Weistling: Painting a Brand-New Picture

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Brittany Weistling with her art.
While making faith and art her own, Brittany Weistling realizes she is God’s masterpiece.

Stillness enshrouds a dimly lit room, where a mug of tea sits in need of reheating. It’s 1 a.m., and the only sound is the murmur of music escaping from earbuds and the occasional creak of an easel. Brittany Weistling has been sitting here for hours with a gray palette and canvas smattered with oil paint. A creative vision is becoming reality with each skillful stroke of her brush.

Coming from a family of artists, at 24 Brittany is already considered a world-class painter. Her grandpa was an artist. Her father, Morgan, is recognized as one of the finest contemporary painters in the United States, while her mother, JoAnn, is a nationally recognized, award-winning painter herself. Even her younger sister, Sienna (13), is excelling in drawing, painting and other creative pursuits.

“I’ve been brought up in the world of art,” Brittany says. “It can be midnight or later and the whole family is up painting in their different spaces.”

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Brittany’s works are a staple at highly esteemed art shows and galleries. She sold her first painting when she was only 16. At 17, she became the youngest exhibitor ever at the Masters of the American West Art Show and Sale. And by 18, she was considered an “artist to watch” by a major trade publication.

Pursuing her passions

Brittany has modeled for her parents’ paintings “probably 50 or more times through the years.” But she really flourished when it was her turn to create.

“I’ve been painting, drawing or doing sculptures since as far back as I can remember,” Brittany says.

Throughout school, she applied herself academically, but the arts came naturally.

Brittany eventually branched out, taking drama for four years. She jumped into theater production and thought about being an actress, at the same time she continued to play the piano—something she had done since she was 6. Even history rose to the surface in her studies.

Narrowing her pursuits

“I had so many passions. I thought by applying history, I could become a curator in a museum,” Brittany says. “I’d rather have a love for so many things than be apathetic.”

Despite all her pursuits, Brittany continued to paint—and her parents took notice.

“They saw that I had a gift and helped me cultivate my skills,” she says. “I was being trained by two artists.”

Much of that training came through discussions—and osmosis, as she simply observed two masters do their work day after day.

“My parents’ work is amazing,” Brittany says. “As they taught me, I just wanted to get better and keep growing.”

Her choice

Brittany began showing her work to collectors and “people who are serious in the art world” when she was 16. That’s when she knew she would have to make a decision.

“If I wanted to get serious about art, I couldn’t go [in so] many directions,” she explains. “I had to master one thing, so I chose oil painting. I really loved the idea of creating something three dimensional in a two-dimensional medium.”

But she also had to ask herself a hard question.

“I had friends looking at colleges and figuring out their majors and I began to wonder, Am I just painting because of my parents, or am I passionate about it?” Brittany admits.

Deep down she knew the answer and continued to master her craft.

After high school, Brittany enrolled in a community college to study subjects that would enhance her career, including history, literature, film, theater, photography, art history and figure drawing. She also attended workshops led by her favorite artists.

“I like that there are so many ways to learn new art skills whether it’s in a class, apprenticeship, online videos or books,” Brittany says. 

Honing her skills

Brittany defines her style as representational realism (painting that includes easily recognizable objects), but she says she is always evolving.

“I like to take a bit from the old masters who inspire me (Rembrandt, Vermeer, John Singer Sargent and Alphonse Mucha), then blend all my favorite types of art and make it my own,” she explains.

Brittany is drawn to old-world life, including the Renaissance and Victorian eras. And that interest in history has paid off.

“I love being able to step into a different time. It’s like you’re looking into a window when you look at the canvas,” she says. “Plus, the fashion and architecture had such art and detail in it.”

Her inspiration

Brittany finds inspiration for new paintings from just about anywhere: a movie, book, song or a personal experience. Even a color or style of lighting can create an epiphany.

Once Brittany has an idea, the hard part begins. She physically creates her scene using sets, lighting, costumes, decor and models, who can be from a cache of friends, acquaintances or someone she’s just met.

“I don’t make things out of my head. I need a reference. So I’ll use whatever I have—rearranging rooms or setting up an area outside,” Brittany explains.

Once models arrive, they’re dressed in appropriate period clothing, directed on how to pose and then placed in a room with a backdrop. Brittany may take pictures or do sketches. Eventually, she does a loose charcoal drawing, then begins painting—and brewing another cup of tea.

The darkest value paints come first, and then lighter shades and finishing details. A final work of art can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to complete, depending on the canvas size, level of complexity and whether it’s taking shape.

Finding motivation

“Sometimes it’s worth it to completely start over or move onto something new,” Brittany says. “And sometimes I won’t like the way a painting is looking, but I’ll keep the faith and press on. You just have to get over the hump.”

And then there are “those days.” Working day after day on the same project for hours can feel like an uphill journey.

“Sometimes I can go on all day, but there are times I’ll try to recollect myself and rest to avoid burnout,” she says. “Or sometimes I just need a simple break. I’ll pray, read, exercise, go through Scriptures or listen to music—then get back to it.”

When deadlines loom and breaks aren’t an option, Brittany relies on music (She loves different styles, but movie soundtracks are her favorite.) or online sermons that she has saved.

“I’ll find something that has inspired me in the past and it will help me paint quicker,” she says. “I can’t sit in silence and paint.”

Brittany has also had to be intentional about her social life. Painting isn’t exactly a community activity.

“I feel very paradoxical. I need to work in isolation, but I can’t stay in isolation,” she explains. “I’m an introvert, but I need people. I tend to be so driven that I neglect other areas of my life if I’m not careful.”

Strengthening her faith

That drive and perseverance also led Brittany to realize another area of need—her faith. She grew up attending church and being involved in Christian activities, plus attended a Christian high school. But something was missing.

“I had a lot of head knowledge about the Bible and always knew who Jesus was. I knew the historical aspects of my faith and all of the key elements, but the relationship part was a question mark,” Brittany says.

When Brittany saw her friends going through challenges, that only led to more questions.

“I had doubts that I never realized and wondered if a Christian should have doubts and uncertainty,” she admits. Afraid to look foolish in front of friends and teachers, Brittany kept silent—her faith shaken.

Anxiety and insecurity

During her senior year she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and then suffered a breakup with her boyfriend. And discontent grew.

“I ended up having issues with food and exercise, trying to find stability and something I could control,” Brittany says. “It was a pretty dark time.”

But Brittany’s perseverance kicked in. Instead of giving up on God, she felt led to join a young adult group at church.

“I was scared, and it took a few times to make connections, but I knew I had to press through it,” she says. “I wanted to find people to help me and find someone who knew more about God than I did.”

Brittany found a connection she never expected—a girl struggling with severe depression. Feeling ill-equipped to help, Brittany began doing her own research in the Bible, hoping to find something she could pass along.

“By trying to help her, I was helping myself. My questions were being answered,” she explains. “I had all these puzzle pieces in my life, and they were finally fitting together.”

Control issues, her eating disorder and other insecurities began to disappear. God was painting a brand-new picture in Brittany’s life.

Her identity

Knowing she is God’s masterpiece, her outlook has changed. And that’s helped her when it comes to creating her own works of art. She has her eye on upcoming art shows and competitions. She’s busy preparing for a big exhibition in February and aspires to lead workshops and classes.

“I’m actually really excited right now. I’ve set a yearly goal and even new daily goals,” she says. “And I have a lot of ideas I really want to get down on canvas.”

That means more hours spent in isolation, perpetual late nights and more neglected tea. But for Brittany, that paints a perfect picture.

“In my heart I feel like God gave me this gift, and whenever I’m doing art, I feel like I’m in the right place,” Brittany says. “I feel like I have this responsibility to keep painting.”

Listen to a broadcast with her father, Morgan Weistling.

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You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

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You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

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Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!