VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - One South Georgia woman is bringing Christmas to life through her artwork in Lanier County.
"I love the joy it brings," said professional window painter Jill Whitley.
If you travel through the historic downtown of Nashville, Lakeland or Fitzgerald, you're more than likely going to see hundreds of windows covered in Christmas artwork.
But who is responsible for the colorful display of joy?
She's been painting for 30 years and recently took on window painting after a friend suggested it.
"I started in Tifton going up and down Main Street, going from door to door and I got a lot of no's," said Whitley.
Until someone finally said yes.
That was three years ago.
Business picked up so much that Whitley left her full-time job to paint windows all year round. But she said she doesn't do it for the money.
"I get to express myself and you get to see the inside of me, pretty much. That's me on the window, those are my feelings, I'm happy, I'm real. That's how I feel when I'm painting that scene," explained Whitley.
Within the last month, Whitley has painted more than 130 windows throughout South Georgia. She believes people relate to her art and that's why they ask her to return.
"I'm a realist, it's got to be realistic, I have to feel it in my heart and it just makes everybody else feel what I'm painting, whatever scene it is," said Whitley. "I want it to be felt."
Whitley said her main objective is to bring holiday joy back into people's lives.
"I want the kids to come by and say, 'Oh there's Santa Claus! Look you can see the tree on the inside.' Just, happiness," Whitley said.
Whitley's work can be seen in Tifton, Adel, Lakeland and many other South Georgia counties.
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