When I was in 7th grade I made a friend who's mother was an artist. She would tell us tales of art school, and getting lost in the stories told in the works of the Old Master's. She spoke of her time as an artist with such fondness, but also with a hint of sadness. Like remembering a childhood friend that moved away and you have no way of contacting. I swore to myself at the ripe age of 13 that I would never lose my connection to art. I could not wrap my adolescent brain around art not being intertwined with my being. Creating is like breathing, it is the life force in my veins.
Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. My grandfather was an artist who loved to draw; spending time together making art are some of the fondest memories of my childhood. He would spend hours patiently teaching me all about shading, lighting, and observational drawing. My grandmother was a passionate crafter, who always had enough supplies to share and teach me what ever she was working on. Weekends with Mom and Pop meant I was coming home with stacks of drawings and hot glue burnt fingertips. To this day, the smell of hot glue whisks me back to sitting with my grandmother at her kitchen table making winter wreaths.
I took every art class I could in high school, and majored in painting in college. I became an art teacher, and I swore I would never let anything come between my art and I. But life has a funny way of making us eat our words. There were several times in my 20s and early 30s that my young family and all of the responsibilities that came with it took center stage and art fell to the back burner. I would catch whims of inspiration, and start new paintings, most of which were added to piles of unfinished work. The farther I got from my art practice, the more my mental health suffered. Creating is what makes me feel most alive, what allows me to catch my breath, and what makes me feel most like me.
There is an artist that lives in each of us, and through this blog I hope to break down barriers that prevent people from creating. In this blog, I will also feature artists that inspire me. Want to be featured on the blog? Email me! firstname.lastname@example.org.
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