As the sun danced its final two-step in the distance, Jocelyn Arnold shifted her eyes towards the Tennessee skyline in amazement. There was something special about the scenic oasis, but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
The thoughts ran through her mind. Was it the changing leaves that telegraphed the upcoming season or was it maybe the colorful mosaic that reflected the adjoining mountains at its highest point?
Whatever it was, Arnold couldn’t wait any longer. With a long trip back to Fayetteville, she whipped out her sketch book and started putting her thoughts into action.
She weaved the outpouring emotions into the backdrop. The colors got her creative mind flowing. Minutes later, she started one of her most popular pieces, aptly named, “Show Your True Colors.”
The painting instantly became one of Arnold’s prized possessions. Now it sits at the Fayette County Library, alongside several other works in Arnold’s art exhibit.
On Tuesday, Arnold held her debut art show for her latest works. Alongside friends, family, and classmates, she shared her visions and gifts with the world.
“To me, these pictures and paintings came from the feelings I felt inside,” Arnold said. “I wanted to connect with others and do pictures about hope, dreams, and how people could push through.”
A lot of the artwork highlights the inner workings of everyday life. There are drawings that show empowerment, love, success, and how to deal with failure. One of the biggest drawings is the “Rising” painting that depicts the sun as the source of hope and prosperity.
“They all have different meanings, but all of them are really special to me,” Arnold said. “Everything in life, you have good and bad times. But together, life is beautiful and great.”
Arnold began drawing at four years old. She was enthusiastic about wanting to create different perspectives that were of interest. Once her parents saw her work, they knew she had the talent to be successful, so they bought her the first of many sketch books and got her set up in art classes.
“I was like, ‘Okay, I will buy you one,'” her father William Arnold said. “From that point on, she was asking for materials to draw hands and body figures.”
Her mom Katrina Arnold agrees. She made sure that Jocelyn had paints, coloring pencils, and canvases at each turn.
“It seems surreal when you think about where she started,” Katrina Arnold said. “She started with coloring books and making her drawings. Just to see her talent flourish is so amazing.”
Over the years, the Arnolds were amazed at how much their daughter improved. As a devout Christian family, they started to see that Jocelyn’s talent was indeed her gift. They loved the way the artwork impact all those it encountered.
“She has grown so much and is a blessing to us,” William Arnold said. “Ever since she was young, she has been sweet, outgoing, and energetic. You can see that in her art.”
One of William Arnold’s favorite pictures shows a girl that is bound by chains. He loves a part of the piece that says “Love” in bold letters. It appeals to him because people can go through tough situations and only love can set them free.
“I love that picture,” William Arnold said. “Through all the adversity, pain, and suffering, she has the love in her heart to do the right thing.”
Arnold took her passion for art and used it throughout grade school. As she entered high school, she balanced her talent with her love of sports. She began playing lacrosse in ninth grade, and, much like art, she excelled from the start.
She scored the first ever goal for the girls lacrosse program at Fayette County High School and went on to become a key starter for the Lady Tigers. In her senior season, she played in 10 games and scored 19 goals. The dynamic senior tallied 24 points and was named to the All-County 2nd Team.
Her accomplishments were parlayed into a scholarship opportunities from different schools. She ultimately chose Notre Dame College in Ohio after speaking with the coaching staff.
The coaches called her several times and invited her for a campus visit. Jocelyn fell in love with the school as it brought her back to that day riding home from Tennessee.
“We were walking around and I was attached to the campus,” she said. “It was so beautiful, and I thought I could do great things at the school.”
In the fall, she will major in graphic design while playing lacrosse for the school.
The Dream Continues
As Arnold gears up to head off to college, she will take the memories of high school with her. She still plans on continuing to draw and creating emotional masterpieces. She also has some ideas of designing for internships as well.
“If people really love it and feel something with it, I will give it to them,” Arnold said.
Her parents feel the same way. They are excited to see her inspire those around her. They will be supporting and just one phone call away.
“She has always been a child that sees the opposite of what other people see,” Katrina Arnold said. “She has so many different talents that it is amazing. I know it will impact people.”