American Essence is a magazine for anyone who loves America.


It celebrates America's contribution to humanity.

Magazin cover

More Content, Better Quality

So many of you sent in wonderful feedback for our first issue that we decided to make our next issue even better.

Our magazine is now twice as thick as our June issue, and is printed on beautiful, high-quality matte.

BEST DEAL
1 Year (12 Issues) + 2 Free Issues
6 months (6 Issues)
*Subscriptions for the magazine will be calculated at the retail price of $14.95 per issue. For annual subscriptions, the price will be calculated at a rate $7.95 per issue for the first year and $8.95 per issue for the second year and on. All magazine subscriptions will be renewed automatically. No free issue(s) on renewal.
Click here for details

Take a look at one of our recent issues

What people are saying

Our country is experiencing unprecedented division. Critical Race Theory is pushing more division, tearing apart the very beliefs our country was founded on. American Essence is an excellent source to educate everyone about our history.
- Shirley Rose Winn
What drew me to want to subscribe is the focus on things and people in America. Stories of traditional American values and creativity regardless of race, color or creed.
- Deborah Smith
With all the negative media coverage of America, and the twisted, commercialized version of America and Americans that are pushed on our American society as truth, it is refreshing to find a magazine like American Essence. This magazine tells real stories of real Americans, which reflect what is good and true about America.
- Jeff K
I really enjoy the stories of small businesses I would have otherwise never known about. It really captures the true spirit of Americans. I also enjoy learning about the history of America through your magazine.
- Adam Dickerson
Never in my lifetime has there been a greater need to recognize and share what is good, positive, hopeful, commendable, generous, ingenious, amazing, wonderful... the ESSENCE... about America. Perfect name for this outstanding publication.
- K. B.
Educational, in-depth, first class articles. Heartwarming American story sharing by informed authors. Fantastic art and photography. Unique and awesome publication.
- S. Lyn Samuelson
My children are bombarded with media messaging that intentionally tries to tear down this country and divide its people. But they will come to know better. American Essence is a beacon of hope in an ocean of chaos.
- James Michaletz
Your magazine gives me chills when I read it, the kind I feel when I salute our flag. It inspires unity, with good old fashioned common sense stories about people keeping their faith in liberty.
- Kellee Scammell
Wanted to support your publication as it represents what is missing in the media; integrity, moral standards, and positivity. A wonderful "read" that will be shared historically in the future with family and friends. Image great grandchildren reading and learning from American Essence in years to come.
- Jane Bush
We need publications that highlight the diversity and creativity that life in America affords. I thought the first edition of American Essence was beautifully written and presented. I plan to buy several gift subscriptions for family members.
- Kari Wszolek
American Essence magazine is beautifully produced. The articles are interesting, well written and inspiring. I read the magazine from cover to cover. I also enjoy the photography and artwork.
- Elaine Young
I am 75 years old and have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I want them to know the true America I grew up in. I find that the schools today are not teaching the true story of America and what a wonderful country we are. American Essence may some day be one of the few sources for our future Americans to read and learn about the true America.
- Lillian Davis
The magazine is a keepsake. The photography is wonderful and the articles interesting. Thank you for producing something hopeful, intelligent, and informative.
- Patricia Snyder

FOCUS

From History to Future

American Essence brings you the best of America, past and present, to help you create a better future for yourself and the country.

Timeless Values

American Essence highlights the morals and traditional values that guided the nation’s Founding Fathers. It shares stories embodying the ideals and virtues that form this land of liberty.
Timeless

Perseverance

American Essence seeks to uplift the mind and heart by telling the story of America, with all its perilous moments, providential triumphs, and ordinary individuals pushing for the changes that have shaped the nation.
Man

What people are saying

Our country is experiencing unprecedented division. Critical Race Theory is pushing more division, tearing apart the very beliefs our country was founded on. American Essence is an excellent source to educate everyone about our history.
- Shirley Rose Winn
What drew me to want to subscribe is the focus on things and people in America. Stories of traditional American values and creativity regardless of race, color or creed.
- Deborah Smith
With all the negative media coverage of America, and the twisted, commercialized version of America and Americans that are pushed on our American society as truth, it is refreshing to find a magazine like American Essence. This magazine tells real stories of real Americans, which reflect what is good and true about America.
- Jeff K
I really enjoy the stories of small businesses I would have otherwise never known about. It really captures the true spirit of Americans. I also enjoy learning about the history of America through your magazine.
- Adam Dickerson
Never in my lifetime has there been a greater need to recognize and share what is good, positive, hopeful, commendable, generous, ingenious, amazing, wonderful... the ESSENCE... about America. Perfect name for this outstanding publication.
- K. B.
Educational, in-depth, first class articles. Heartwarming American story sharing by informed authors. Fantastic art and photography. Unique and awesome publication.
- S. Lyn Samuelson
My children are bombarded with media messaging that intentionally tries to tear down this country and divide its people. But they will come to know better. American Essence is a beacon of hope in an ocean of chaos.
- James Michaletz
Your magazine gives me chills when I read it, the kind I feel when I salute our flag. It inspires unity, with good old fashioned common sense stories about people keeping their faith in liberty.
- Kellee Scammell
Wanted to support your publication as it represents what is missing in the media; integrity, moral standards, and positivity. A wonderful "read" that will be shared historically in the future with family and friends. Image great grandchildren reading and learning from American Essence in years to come.
- Jane Bush
We need publications that highlight the diversity and creativity that life in America affords. I thought the first edition of American Essence was beautifully written and presented. I plan to buy several gift subscriptions for family members.
- Kari Wszolek
American Essence magazine is beautifully produced. The articles are interesting, well written and inspiring. I read the magazine from cover to cover. I also enjoy the photography and artwork.
- Elaine Young
I am 75 years old and have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I want them to know the true America I grew up in. I find that the schools today are not teaching the true story of America and what a wonderful country we are. American Essence may some day be one of the few sources for our future Americans to read and learn about the true America.
- Lillian Davis
The magazine is a keepsake. The photography is wonderful and the articles interesting. Thank you for producing something hopeful, intelligent, and informative.
- Patricia Snyder

FOCUS

From History to Future

Timeless Values

Perseverance

American Essence brings you the best of America, past and present, to help you create a better future for yourself and the country.
American Essence highlights the morals and traditional values that guided the nation’s Founding Fathers. It shares stories embodying the ideals and virtues that form this land of liberty.
American Essence seeks to uplift the mind and heart by telling the story of America, with all its perilous moments, providential triumphs, and ordinary individuals pushing for the changes that have shaped the nation.
Timeless
Man

Take a look at our first issue

Cowboy
GET A TASTE OF THE MAGAZINE

Praise the Graze: Where Angus Cattle Roam Free

Praise the Graze: Where Angus Cattle Roam Free

Written by Jennifer Schneider
Back to Nature

The best things in life remain as they have for generations; no new technology or innovations in science can compare to the authenticity of nature in her truest form. Conscientious ranchers across the United States have increasingly set out to bridge the gaps between nature, animals, the environment, and people, by raising grass-fed and grass-finished Angus cattle and delivering high-quality beef right from their ranches to your table.

One such ranch is the Arizona Grass Raised Beef Company. Their Angus cattle are born and raised in the Arizona sunshine and are herded by cowboys on horseback. The cattle spend their entire lives freely roaming and foraging throughout millions of acres of ranchlands.

By looking at a product's packaging, you can quickly find out whether a ranch near you can make similar claims.

The American Grassfed Association (AGA) operates on a strict set of standards, whereby their certified producer ranchers must pass annual, third-party, on-farm inspections to verify that their cattle are only fed a lifetime diet of 100 percent forage, never treated with hormones or antibiotics, and are raised entirely on the natural terrain.

The trending concept of “old school operations” is actually the way humans have operated, with nature, for generations. With growing health concerns regarding genetically modified feed and the use of antibiotics in corn-fed cattle, many Americans are turning to the past to find guidance for the future.

“Our cattle get to be cattle” said Greg Bernett, co-owner and spokesperson of the Arizona Grass Raised Beef Company. “They have to forage for native grasses, and when the grass is gone in one area, they have to move and forage elsewhere.”

A Cut Above

His company’s claim to fame is its onsite United States Department of Agriculture-approved harvesting plant. The harvesting, butchering, dry aging, and packaging of meat are all done in the company's boutique processing plant. Having an onsite harvesting plant ensures the company's standards for humanely processing cattle from start to finish. “We are definitely an anomaly,” said Bernett. “There are only a few of us across the country.”

For over a decade now, there have been many researchers advising the cutback of meat consumption to reduce carbon footprints. Agricultural livestock, however, have been an incredible tool for promoting soil health and contributing to ecosystem regeneration.

According to organizations such as the Savory Institute, and Regeneration International, returning cattle and other ruminants to the land, for the duration of their lives, results in multiple benefits to the environment. The holistic management of free-roaming cattle benefits soil by restoring microbial diversity and by making the land more resilient against flooding and drought—it can also boost the nutrient content and flavor of both livestock and plants.

Following the course of nature is essentially giving back to nature. This harmonious cycle benefits the ecosystem and, ultimately, the people. “The reason why government allows Arizona ranches to ranch,” said Bernett, “is because they want the grass to be eaten, to keep the fire hazards down and to fertilize the land.”

Arizona’s mild climate allows cattle to forage and roam all year long. With year-round sunshine and a temperate climate, Arizona ranchers don’t need to worry about housing grass-raised cattle in barns during the winter, nor toil away planting grass to cope with snow coverage.

No Bones Left Behind

Another consideration is a rancher's commitment to using as much of every animal as allowed under USDA regulations. For example, the Arizona Grass Raised Beef Company has its own bone broth kitchen, where it hand-fabricates all marrow bones, knuckles, oxtails, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. The broth is packed with nutrients from across the full bone spectrum.

Operations like these can also provide healthy treats for your furry friends, from dehydrated organ meat to the same human-grade ingredients found in traditional jerky.

Feel good about the beef you bring home for your family, and get a taste of the open terrain by supporting your local, American, grass-fed- and grass-finished-cattle ranchers.



GET A TASTE OF THE MAGAZINE

'I Am Here for a Purpose'—Exonerated After 27 Years, John Bunn Gives Back Through Literacy

'I Am Here for a Purpose'—Exonerated After 27 Years, John Bunn Gives Back Through Literacy

Written by Skylar Parker
Wrongly convicted and incarcerated at the age of 14, John Bunn has endured many struggles from a young age. Born and raised in Brownsville, New York City, to a single mother of three, Bunn had to learn to fend for himself without much guidance. Having lost his father before he was born, he spent the majority of his teenage life without the support of any male figures.

'I Grew Up in Prison'

Bunn was forced to spend 17 years of his life behind bars, in an environment devoid of sympathy.

“It was predator-prey. If they [prisoners] felt you got a weakness, they took advantage of you,” he said.

He spent a further 10 years on parole, fighting for his innocence.

Before he was arrested and taken into prison, Bunn struggled with illiteracy; which only escalated while he was incarcerated.

“When they had me on trial, they told me to write down any questions I had. I couldn’t write down anything. I didn’t know how to express myself. That was the most trapped and embarrassing feeling you can ever imagine,” he said, breaking into a sob.

With the help of teachers, he finally learned how to read and write by the age of 16. It changed the course of his life.

“It made me stronger. It made me feel like I could fight for my life,” he said. Learning how to read and write is what drove Bunn to later go on to become a facilitator of an anger management program while in prison. From there, he met many other young men struggling with the challenges of illiteracy. “And I would talk to them about my illiteracy issues. And I told them that this was not something to be ashamed of,” he said.

The Unheard

Today, Bunn is the founder of AVoice4TheUnheard.org and helps bring positivity into communities, schools, houses, and prisons of New York City.

Meeting other young men struggling with illiteracy was the driving point that led him to found his literacy program after being exonerated.

In 2017, it initially started as a book drive aimed at refurbishing the libraries at Rikers Island and providing under-resourced communities with educational literature, according to the program website.

Today, the program also offers roleplaying activities to at-risk youth where they're tasked with group interactions. “We put individuals in real-life scenarios and give them the option to put themselves in other people’s shoes. We try to make them think before making decisions. This is what we call consequential thinking,” Bunn said.

Finding His Passion

The program began during Bunn's nearly 12 years on parole.

“It [parole] put my life in a limbo state. I knew I was innocent. Everybody knew I was innocent. And that’s what I was fighting for,” he said. While still waiting for a final decision to be made on his conviction, Bunn channeled that restlessness into something positive.

“I needed to put my energy into something more progressive,” he said. “A voice for the unheard—I don’t even know when it became the whole phrase, but it always represented me and what I felt inside my spirit.”

After suffering many setbacks and losing out on the prime years of his life while stuck in prison, Bunn refocused his attention on helping others who may be at risk of getting ensnared in the prison system.

“Where I come from,” Bunn said, “we don't have too many role models. So my message is, if you don’t have anybody to show you a way, you make your own way. Don't let that be the reason to discourage you from going forward. And that's what I stand for. And that’s what we stand for.”

Making Positivity Cool for Kids

Part of Bunn's mission is passing his positivity on to others. “The greatest champions have to go through adversities for them to have the empathy to deal with the world from a different perspective,” Bunn said.

“Our main message is about making positivity cool,” he tells me about his organization. He said that in today’s world, children are vulnerable to absorbing harmful messages from the media they consume. A lot of music nowadays romanticizes being tough, drugs, skipping school, and gang culture. But “that’s not real life,” Bunn says. His organization advocates for changing this narrative so that kids begin associating positivity with coolness.

A Voice 4 the Unheard not only provides prisons and schools with an abundance of literature but also offers numerous resources and networking opportunities to young people and children from underprivileged backgrounds.

“There’s a lack of resources in these communities, and we want to open them up to other resources that they may not know we have available today,” Bunn said. One of the ways the organization is working to bring resources closer to disadvantaged students is by building a network with other nonprofits and educational groups.

George Garber, who works alongside Bunn as one of the core members of the organization, says, “We’re working on creating a student portal on our website where kids could go and connect with other local nonprofits to fulfill their passions, whether that would be music, poetry, art, or the environment.”

The team has many future projects in mind, such as building a kids’ center to provide students with a safe physical location to study and access certain educational materials that may not be readily available in their immediate communities.

“A safe place where they can feel like it’s cool to learn at,” Bunn said.

JohnBunn
3rd
GET A TASTE OF THE MAGAZINE

Dancing Spirit Ranch: ‘The Peace of Wild Things’

Dancing Spirit Ranch: ‘The Peace of Wild Things’

Written by Rachel Dymski
The Montana mountain air was cool and fresh, and as I breathed it in, something inside of me awakened: evasive like magic or childhood. I pulled on my rain boots and walked quickly to keep up with my daughters, who had already raced off of the porch and through the mud to the purple sky in front of us.

Alpenglow was a word I never heard before my trip to Dancing Spirit Ranch, but it is one I won’t soon forget. As the sun sets, mountains exposed to the direct sunlight undergo an optical phenomenon and assume a color wheel of orange, yellow, and finally violet, creating an illusion of the air being tangible enough to reach out and grab a handful of it.

In the northwest corner of Montana, at the edge of the mountain time zone, it was half-past eight in the evening in the middle of March and I could still see my parents, children, husband, and sister walking around the water in a hazy pool of light that reflected off the mountains behind them.

I paused, scanning the jagged horizon formed by movements in the earth’s foundation, punctuated by swans taking off in unison from the small pond in front of me. After a year of far too few visits with my family, we were together again, lost not in worrisome, despairing talks about our nation or the pandemic that have become commonplace in the last year, but simple, soul-filling wonder.

Dancing Spirit Ranch is a family-owned retreat center and vacation rental outside of Whitefish Montana, America’s playground for skiers, nature lovers, hikers and fly fishers. On the edge of Glacier National Park and boasting 150 acres of gardens, ponds, walking trails, and mountain views, the ranch is a place layered with beauty.

Katherine and Gordon bought the ranch nearly 30 years ago, but only in the last few years has it been opened up for retreats and vacations. Guests can stay in three of the carefully built or renovated houses on the property. The Bunkhouse, a perfect accommodation for a larger family reunion, sleeps up to 14 in high-end rustic style, while The Schoolhouse is perfect for a couple or solo retreat. From our windows in the Cedar House, a four-bedroom cabin on the edge of a 14-acre pond, we watched birds and deer navigate the early Montana spring against the stunning backdrop of the mountain range.

The food at Dancing Spirit Ranch sits in a league of its own. Ananda Johnson, the head chef, has a seemingly endless repertoire of healthy, delicious, plant-based recipes: rosemary paleo biscuits, garden lasagna, made with layers of zucchini, butternut squash, and eggplant between lentil brown rice noodles, oatmeal energy bites, and buckwheat granola, to name a few.

Prepared and served with gracious hospitality as we ate in the dining room of the Barn, next to a crackling fire while the sun beamed through the large windows, Ananda, full of humor, stories, and warmth, made us feel like old friends by the end of the week.

There are more food plans in the works. By the end of 2021, Dancing Spirit Ranch hopes to be completely farm-to-table. They’ve built gardens and greenhouses to this end, thoughtfully arranged in geometric patterns. Dancing Spirit Ranch takes pride in its working relationship with the land--in caring for the soil correctly and planting sustainably so that the ground remains fruitful for years to come.

We could have gone the entire week without leaving the property of Dancing Spirit Ranch, enjoying the bubbling of the Whitefish River, the first signs of buds along the walking trails, sitting around the large communal fire pit where we enjoyed s’mores after dinner in the sunset, the white, sugary fluff of the marshmallow sticking to my daughter’s chin.

We did venture off, to ski Whitefish Mountain, which still had an ample snow base of 100 inches in March, and then to Glacier Park, where we drove 10 miles alongside the clear waters of Lake McDonald. But every time we turned back toward Dancing Spirit Ranch, it was with the anticipation of coming back home.

Katherine told me that the ranch has a way of bringing in the people who need it, a sort of magnetic pull. That might be true, but I think equally crucial to the equation is the way visitors are received when they arrive at Dancing Spirit Ranch. I think it matters that Dancing Spirit Ranch is family-owned and operated because the staff and owners know inherently what visiting families and guests most need. After so much time apart, my family craved a beautiful, relaxed setting to enjoy one another and the world around us, and the ranch delivered tenfold.

Watching my dad swing my daughter up onto his shoulders as they walked through the grass in the evening light, my mom laughing with my youngest as they ran in circles, my husband and sister standing together, talking about how good their dinner was, I decided that Dancing Spirit Ranch was a place I could return to again and again. To quote the poet Wendell Berry, the place is full of the “peace of wild things.”

The author was a guest of Dancing Spirit Ranch.

Rachael Dymski is an author, florist, and mom to two little girls. She is currently writing a novel about the German occupation of the Channel Islands and blogs on her website, RachaelDymski.com
GET A TASTE OF THE MAGAZINE

Mending Marriages

Mending Marriages

Written by Catherine Yang
A father and daughter help couples put things back together

Joe Beam gave a talk recently in Texas; afterward, a family came up to greet him, their young daughter shyly offering up her comments as well. Partially hard of hearing, Beam crouched down and asked her to repeat herself.

"Thank you for saving my family," she told Beam.

Since 1999, Beam has hosted marriage crisis workshops, which couples sometimes tell him are "the best-kept secret in America." But the path to saving marriages—which takes him all around the world, nowadays—began with his own divorce.

Twice Married

Before Beam founded various organizations including Marriage Helper, he was working in corporate America and running workshops on relationship-related topics. His own marriage was in rocky waters, having reached a point where he was vilifying his wife, he said, and the relationship was cold. When the couple divorced, Beam thought he would end up living happily ever after and marrying another woman with whom he'd fallen in love—that didn't pan out.

But after three years of Beam visiting every weekend to see their two daughters, Beam and his wife Alice became friends again. They were able to spend time together without arguing, and they rebuilt their relationship.

"I came back and asked my wife if she would be willing to take me back and marry me again," Beam said. Of course, she had to think about it. She also asked everyone around her for their advice.

"And everybody, everybody she talked to told her not to marry me again, that she can never trust me again," Beam said.

"Contrary to their advice, she decided that she would marry me a second time," he said. "That was 1987."

It wasn't smooth sailing just because they had made up. They argued a lot, having not yet worked on the issues that festered in their first marriage, and both were in need of healing. Alice sought out a counselor, and Beam says he healed through helping others.

"We began to have heartfelt, open and transparent, honest conversations," Beam said. "Eventually, Alice became my best friend, and to this day she is my best friend."

And through that union, they had their daughter Kimberly.

Hope's Not Lost

Kimberly Holmes has never known her parents to be apart.

"I owe my life to two people who decided to do the right thing, who decided to put their marriage back together and to make it work. Otherwise, I would not exist," Holmes said. She knows this not least of all because her experience of having always known loving parents is a departure from the experience, and trauma, that her two older sisters had growing up through their parents' divorce, which remarriage doesn't just erase.

"I've seen them [my parents] fight, but I've seen them work it out. I've watched them live and model a great marriage. And it has affected me in amazingly positive ways in my life," said Holmes, who is now CEO of Marriage Helper. In her five-year tenure, she has greatly expanded the organization's reach, helping couples in crisis as well as couples who just want to learn. It's work she describes as "purpose-filled," because she has seen that the workshops don't just provide effective education—they give people hope.

Marriage Helper has received countless relationship questions from all around the world: My spouse says terrible things about me, will he or she ever see me in a positive light? How do I forgive my spouse for cheating on me? Can I ever trust my spouse again?

But the most common question is simple: Is there hope for me and my situation?

"And our answer to that is yes," Holmes said.

She answers confidently because she's seen the amazing transformations that happen. People are reminded up front that there's no guarantee any given marriage will be saved (about three of every four couples attending the workshops see success), but the tools and ideas learned in the workshops do promise to change and improve personal relationships regardless.

Three-Day Workshops

After completing a bachelor's degree in psychology, Holmes had neither a specific career in mind nor a thought of joining the "family business," but continued graduate studies in marriage and family therapy with the heart to help people.

In her schooling, she experienced firsthand what working with couples one-on-one is like, how slow the progress is, and how frustrating it can be.

But at the same time, Holmes started working part-time for Marriage Helper on the side, and once a month she would help out with the workshops.

"And I would see amazing progress that would happen in these couples, in only three days," Holmes said. "It was during that time that I realized this is what I want to do. I want to help marriages be saved, families be strong."

The workshops are unique in the relationship counseling world. For one thing, dozens of people gather in each session (through video conferences as well). Days before holding a pair of weekend workshops for 45 couples from across the globe, Beam elaborated further.

Based on his experience in the corporate world, Beam took the "three-day workshop" and applied it to marriage counseling. In his quest to repair his own marriage and then help others, Beam had read countless books and earned a doctorate. Now an expert at taking complex psychological principles and simplifying them, making them easy to understand at a deep level, he's often invited to counseling centers to teach their counselors to do the same.

He helps people to understand how their behavior affects others, how to recognize their own unacknowledged harmful actions, how to deal with anger, and how to forgive (including a how-to-reconcile process). He also walks people through the process of what happens when we fall in love, and decodes other deep insights in a simple but enlightening manner.

Over the years, Beam has worked with a diverse range of couples and seen a wide variety of problems. When he talks to people, none of it is theory. He can talk about real experiences and real marriages that fell apart or were salvaged. Experience means Beam has seen it all, and he doesn't judge. Everyone is treated with respect and dignity regardless of individual situations, and the workshops, like Beam, are very positive.

The vast majority of couples attending the workshops include one spouse who wants out, and is only present because of the promise that divorce papers will be signed afterward.

"Basically, on the first day, they're not talking to each other. They're kind of pushing their chairs apart. Some of them are scowling," Beam said. "By the end of the first day, at least they've calmed down.

"Then the second day, they actually start talking to people and start loosening up.

"And then the third day—it's amazing to see the transformation—on the third day, we have trouble keeping them quiet so we can actually teach! Because they're all interacting with each other, encouraging each other."

Not everyone, of course. Not all the couples stay together, but around seven out of ten do.

Best Kept Secret

That 70-some-percent success rate raises some eyebrows, so Beam says that over the years Marriage Helper has invited many psychiatrists, counselors, and therapists to join the three-day workshops and see for themselves. They join thinking, "This is crazy," but leave saying that the methods and results are valid.

"This is the 22nd year so far," Beam said. "Every one of them sends couples to us now."

Leaving inspired on the third day isn't enough; couples have to be willing to put into practice all they have learned, for there to be real and lasting change. Marriage Helper isn't there to twist people's arms and convince them to stay married; instead, couples are given the tools needed to make their relationships work. Even couples who don't stay together recommend the workshops—the principles can apply to any relationship.

As a teacher who intervenes in the middle of things, Beam doesn't always know the outcomes. But sometimes couples find him—even years later, even couples from 1999—and share incredible stories.

A minister acquaintance of Beam's recently remarried a couple that had divorced five years prior and made up after attending one of the workshops.

Another couple attended one of the workshops about 10 years ago, but ended up divorcing later on. The woman recently contacted Marriage Helper to say that she and her ex-husband started dating again after six years of divorce, and were contemplating marriage. They wanted to attend another workshop, to see if they could really make things work.

Many couples that finish the workshops say their children should, once engaged, also attend, so they can build strong relationships from the start. The workshops fill up weeks in advance.

"We love to have engaged couples," Beam said. "We figure it's the best premarital education in America, or the world, because not only do they learn all these fascinating, very powerful principles about relationships, but they're in a room full of people who've messed it up. So we're not giving you theory, we're showing you real-world stuff."

Holmes hears many people call it a last resort, saying if anything works, this will. And she believes it does work, wholeheartedly. The Marriage Helper team believes strongly in the mission to create strong marriages, she said, and that drives everything they do. "We never stop being passionate about doing this," Holmes said.

"I give God credit for all of that, because I'm just not that smart," Beam said. "It's just absolutely exhilarating to hear how it worked. But when you're working with them and they're in pain, it's absolutely painful. We hurt when we heal these couples. We feel their pain and it gets to us. But then we hear the stories afterward, of how they got through this and got through that, and it's just amazing and unbelievable—I can't believe God chose us to do this."
4th
5th
GET A TASTE OF THE MAGAZINE

Jeremy Lipking: Depictions of Beauty and Life

Jeremy Lipking: Depictions of Beauty and Life

Written by Sarah Hodges
Jeremy Lipking is a highly acclaimed American realist painter. In March he completed his anticipated one-man show at The Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. Entitled Silence & Sagebrush, the exhibition showcased 19 of Lipking's oil paintings representing figures standing before the serene expanse of warmly lit landscapes.

Jeremy Lipking depicts the natural world with an acute sensitivity. His love of the outdoors is voiced through his works of art. With expert use of color, value, and composition, the earth in its untouched forms seems to flawlessly emerge through Lipking's brushstrokes. You may experience a gentle reprieve as if walking through the foothills of the magnificent Sierras when you look at one of his paintings.

The painting "Moonrise Over the Vermilion" depicts a figure wrapped in a fawn-colored blanket, standing in the middle of a dry field with a glowing purple dusk mountain far in the distance, and the subtlest hint of the moon just peeking over the mountain range. The blanket, nearly matching the value of the wild brush that the girl stands upon, succinctly plays with the viewer's eye, bringing attention to the darker profile of the girl, and the dark tree line in the background, and then drawing the eye back to dance around the subtle tone variations of the brush and mountains. The piece is brought together with the final harmonizing element of a glowing sky, an effect renderable only by a highly skilled painter who understands the subtle play of tone and value. It is no wonder Lipking is currently one of the most sought-after contemporary realist artists, winning nearly every painting contest he has entered.

Jeremy Lipking's exposure to art began at a young age. His father was an illustrator and landscape painter. Lipking would spend afternoons walking through art museums instead of watching television. After high school, Lipking moved from an urban setting to a town in the mountains where he could climb, ski, and snowboard. On days when he wasn’t doing one of these activities, he would often take a set of watercolors to paint out in the mountains.

“I always liked being outdoors,” Lipking said. At some point, he decided to pick up oil paints. “Those early pieces really were not very good,” Lipking recalled with a light chuckle. He knew that he wanted to master this craft, and realized he couldn’t do it entirely on his own.

In his twenties, Lipking enrolled at the California Art Institute. He was one of the few young artists at the school who took a special interest in classical techniques and traditions. He and his classmates would pass around drawings done by old Russian masters to copy and study. “I wished I had had a place to study more formally,” Lipking said. But it’s clear he has no regrets. He gratefully credits his California Art Institute teacher Glen Orbik with giving him some of his most significant lessons in drawing.

Lipking continued to study drawing on his own, practicing techniques he picked up along the way from school, workshops, and the works of other artists. He knew that developing his drawing skills was one of the best ways to improve his painting. “Drawing is so mechanical,” Lipking said about his experience learning this skill, “Only after years of dedication and practice did it begin to feel intuitive.”

When asked about his style, Lipking simply says, “I try not to have one.” Perhaps one of the best approaches to style that one could take, this allows the genuine experience of creation to come through rather than creating in a contrived way. This refreshing authenticity rings true in Lipking's paintings.

Some of Lipking's inspiration for how to blend colors and understand painting techniques comes from John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Nicolai Fechin, and the master landscape painter Joaquin Sorolla. He read over and over again the book Alla Prima, by Richard Schmid, uncovering different approaches to painting that he would then apply to his own work. Lipking's years of disciplined study and dedication to the craft paid off. He improved rapidly, reaching toward his calling to paint with mastery.

Not only a landscape painter, Lipking is also a skilled figure and portrait painter. His approach to painting the feeling of a person particularly stands out. “When I’m painting a figure or portrait, the expression on the face becomes the most important part,” Lipking said. “I tend to spend a lot of time getting the subtle expression just right. One little brushstroke can completely change the mood.” Lipking said he can spend up to a couple weeks making minute adjustments to the eyes, or the corners of the lips until the feeling of the portrait resonates for him. In his most recent show, all but two of the pieces include carefully crafted portraits. Each one carries an almost surreal sense of aliveness and honesty in their expressions.

The 19 paintings in Silence & Sagebrush unite Lipking's interests in landscape and portrait painting. Each piece marries both elements, one seeming to have a natural belonging to the other. In a couple of the pieces, his wife, Danielle, is painted holding one of their youngest children. In another, his daughter tenderly holds their darkly plumed chicken. And in yet another, his older daughter sits serenely in a boat on a lake reflecting the sunrise light. His supportive family members are ready and usually willing subjects, with the exceptions of the youngest children, who sometimes resist the idea of remaining still for a painting. Lipking's intrinsic value of beauty in the natural world translates fluidly into his paintings, skillfully bringing life onto his canvas.

Completing around 15 finished gallery pieces per year, Lipking isn't short on inspiration. Just as he has completed his one-man show, he is preparing two more paintings to be shown in the Prix de West invitational art exhibition coming up at the end of June, at The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Silence & Sagebrush ran through March 21, 2021, at The Legacy Gallery.

To view more paintings by Jeremy Lipking, visit Lipking.com

Sarah Hodges is a freelance writer currently based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Before becoming a writer, she studied fine arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, The Grand Central Atelier in New York, and The Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. Her inspiration for classical art first came from her grandfather, who is a contemporary realist painter in Hawaii.
Cowboy
CONTENT

American Essence Covers

Entrepreneurs
Family
Small Farms
Movie & TV
History
Immigrant Stories
Historic Buildings
The Great Outdoors
Made in America
Homeschooling
Giving Back to the Community
Small Town Living
Founding Fathers
American Artists

About American Essence

American Essence focuses on traditional American values and great American stories. It recounts significant historical events, from the time of the Founding Fathers through today, including average Americans who want to give back to their communities and country.


American Essence celebrates America’s contributions to humanity. America has been the flagship of the free world. It has gone through difficult times—many times—but it has been prosperous because it is blessed. It is a land like no other for those seeking freedom of belief, staying true to the motto “in God we Trust.” It is this enduring belief and its core ideals that have carried America through and kept it strong. This, and much more, is what serves as the nation’s great legacy.

More Content, Better Quality

Our magazine is now twice as thick as our June issue, and is printed on beautiful, high-quality matte.

BEST DEAL
1 Year (12 Issues) + 2 Free Issues
6 months (6 Issues)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is American Essence?

American Essence is a monthly magazine with stories about the people, places, and influences that embody the ideals and virtues that formed America. It celebrates the everyday individuals who grow our food, start small businesses, raise families, build communities, and preserve traditional culture for generations to come—the heart and soul of America.
When should I expect the first issue after subscribing?

The first issue will be published on June 3, 2021, and it will be mailed out to subscribers through USPS, from New Jersey, on the same day. It will reach you in about one week to two weeks, depending on your mailing zip code. The cutoff time for new subscribers who want to receive the first issue is May 31, 2021. If you subscribe after the cutoff time, you will receive American Essence magazine starting from the next issue.
Do I get a free magazine subscription if I have a subscription to another product such as print, digital, or TV?

No. You have to order your American Essence subscription separately.