May Artist of the Month: Painter, Pastor, and Musician - Tim Mooney!
This month we had the pleasure of talking with local artist, Tim Mooney, about his art, inspiration, and advice on staying creative during quarantine. Tim has moved his studio into his home in Capitol Hill, where he paints, plays guitar, and posts "Song of the Day" serenades to his Facebook Page. We were able to interview Tim over a Zoom call this week with the Art of Home Team's Heather Truhan! Check out the video below:
Tim grew up in California and was going to college for religion and sociology when he felt a call to go into ministry. He became a pastor, and thought he would continue as a full-time pastor for the rest of his life until he started to feel a creative itch that was impossible to ignore. Starting with a small water color palette, he began to paint; however instead of painting with thin washes, he decided to mix the paint in thicker proportions almost as if it were oil. He started on small 5" x 5" canvases, and from here he launched head first into his self-taught creative journey.
At first, Tim found himself drawn to California landscapes and Impressionist works. He learned to paint landscapes from this style, then moved on to painting figures, portraits, and abstract pieces. Being mostly self-taught and making mistakes as every student would, Tim saw his own mistakes as his teachers. When he was working on a piece, it would completely consume him, creating by day and dreaming of the painting by night. Once a painting was done, he'd let it go and move on to something new.
Also inspired by music and singing, Tim began writing songs. A self-taught musician for the last ten years, Tim begin playing the guitar and writing songs about life: broken relationships, love, and laughter. When COVID-19 swept up the city and everyone went underground, Tim started posting some of his songs to Facebook. One of his friends asked, "Tim, would you do a song every day?" To which Tim replied "Of course!" And so he did; you can visit Tim's Facebook page and find the song of the day. Each song has its own associated hat-of-the-day that Tim chooses to wear, depending on the content.
Like many others, Tim has seen some challenging times before this year. This past Sunday was his one-year anniversary of having brain surgery. A year or so ago, while he was driving back to the city from Rocky Mountain National Park after a beautiful day in the mountains, he suddenly found himself waking up in the back of an ambulance. Tim's physician told him that he had actually been having slight seizures, and that he wouldn't be able to drive. His life completely changed. He underwent brain surgery to remove the lesions causing the seizures, not knowing if he would recognize himself or what his life would look like afterwards... Thankfully, the surgery was a success! The medical miracle enabled Tim to return fully to the life he knew before.
Tim's surgery made him aware of how fortunate he was, and how important it was to him to stay creative, stay in touch with people, and clean up old relationships to live a full and happy life. He went back to his guitar, and the music was still there inside him. He went back to his paint, and the artist had never left. Tim's advice to other artists is to keep going after what inspires you. Make what you want to create, and keep showing up to your medium, whether its music, paint, writing - whatever makes you feel alive. Don't be afraid to show up, because that's when inspiration has a chance to greet you.
Tim Mooney still works as a part-time pastor. He gives spiritual guidance to those who ask, and loves the connection between art and spirituality. He is a songwriter, a painter, and a caring neighbor. You can find his songs on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon; his latest album is entitles "True". His art is available for viewing and purchase on his website, and you can reach out to him personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.