You know, I love getting assignments. Ask me to create something and you’ll find me late at night in my studio giving my rendition of any given subject. Yet, ask me to talk about myself and well, I’m stuck for verbiage. I’d much rather talk about my creations than myself. That being said, perhaps a quick personal history might give you better insight as to why it is that I create what I do.
Yep, I’ll admit, I was a child of the 80’s. Early 80’s to be exact. My mother was quite the crafter. She taught herself everything from Macramé (Remember those huge planters?) to beading (think huge beaded birdcages), plastic canvas and crochet. Not only was I part of her crafting ventures, but she also encouraged me to be myself. So, of course, I took advantage of that and did what any other girl of 13 in 1983 would do; I had her fashion a pair of crocheted silver fingerless gloves. Complete with a big, pink satin bow at the wrist. Now a mother myself, I have a totally new respect for her. I’m sure she was dying a bit inside when she created them for me, but she did it nonetheless. This is the same woman that during my “Madonna” phase, took me to Dennys for breakfast dressed in bright pink leggings, tank to match, rubber O ring bracelets, big earrings and ballet flats, all the while sporting those crocheted gloves…. Here is the amazing thing; she never blinked an eye, even defending me when as other patrons gawked.
I owe my free creative spirit to my mother. She taught me that it is perfectly acceptable to be outside of the norm. Not only that, but expressing yourself in a tangible manner, be it the way you dress or things you create, is yet another way to let your voice be heard. It is a gift she gave without realizing it. As an adult I use found objects, paint, papers and glue as a means of articulating my thoughts, opinions, hopes and fears, just as those Crocheted silver gloves of my youth had.
Fast forward to the actual grown up me. I’m now facing my 40’s and am content in my life. I feel like I have lived a million lifetimes, but seriously, who among us hasn’t? My current incarnation involves politics, school policies, trying to do my best as the parent of special needs child and a “gifted” one. Currently, I reside atop a mountain in the middle of nowhere, West Virginia, and more importantly, realize that life is pretty darn good. Which I think is a great accomplishment, knowing when enough is enough and being content with that. It’s a good feeling. A rather freeing one at that.