Katie Garner, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often mistakenly referred to as the “Mormon Church”), is an extraordinary inspirational artist who lives in Utah with her husband and six young children. She is most known for her oil paintings that convey a message of joy in motherhood, womanhood, and families.
Katie has loved drawing for as long as she can remember. She took her first oil painting class at Brigham Young University (BYU) as a senior in high school and fell in love with painting.
She married young and started her family right away. She spent 11 years swimming in dishes, diapers, giggles, tears, and lullabies before picking up her paintbrush again in 2015. Katie says, “I always knew I was going to be a professional artist. I was just waiting for my kids to grow up enough for me to start. I thought I had a few more years of waiting, but one morning, while I was sitting on the edge of my bed writing in my journal and pondering my goals, I heard a voice come from inside of me. I think it was my own spirit, or heart, or inner child, or maybe just my true self. The voice said, “I just want to paint!” It was a plea, almost like she was trapped and begging for freedom. I knew those were my true feelings but I’d been suppressing them for so long that I was surprised to hear them again. I had prayed many times over those early years of motherhood about whether or not the time was right to paint again and I always received the same answer, “To everything, there is a season,” so I knew it wasn’t my season for painting yet.
My season was starting to feel different. I had just signed my oldest 4 children up for school after a few years of homeschooling, and my youngest was 3 and finally potty trained. Was it really possible that I could start painting already? Could I balance it all and still be a good mother? I decided to pray and ask again if it was the right time to start painting. I was overjoyed to hear, “Yes, and it’s time to be serious about it.” I’ve never received a more exciting prompting, aside from when I was told to marry my husband, of course.
Shortly after that day, Katie received the opportunity to assist Linda Curley Christensen and her team in painting a mural for the Meridian Idaho LDS Temple. Her work has been on display at the Springville Museum of Art and in a number of local art shows, including the Inspirational Art Association’s Annual Christmas Art Showcase & Sale at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2018, she gave birth to her sixth child and continues to paint prolifically.
Katie says her intention with her art is to help us understand who we are, where we came from and why we are here. “Art is a language that speaks directly to our hearts,” she says, “and I feel a sacred responsibility to use the gifts I’ve been given to further the Lord’s work.”