I loved art as a little girl. I remember drawing picture after picture of rainbows, flowers, sunshine and ocean waves. I would finish a drawing and inscribe it with a phrase such as "I like you" or "You are a great friend" and then pass it along to one of my dearest childhood friends. The pictures I drew always seemed to contain similar themes; those of the outdoors and nature, but more specifically, aspects of nature that tend to elicit joy and bliss for those who observe them. My fascination with flowers, rainbows and sunshine have not dwindled in the least. My draw to color remains steadfast as it opens my heart to joy and I feel a little squeal of delight inside when I am around vibrant colors, I paint them or observe them in nature.
I am also a lover of words. I find myself playing with words and their variations, seeing how they sound, look and feel differently by how they are presented on paper or canvas. Growing up I would doodle my name and words on the side of my notes from school. I would play with how to write my signature, often altering it to give it a different impact. Today, this love of letters has translated to putting them on canvas in various ways. When I started adding words to my canvases it is as if my painter self came more fully to life.
With a Ph.D. in Higher Education Student Affairs Leadership and 15 years experience in the field of Student Affairs, my transition to the creative life was not a simple one. I had spent almost 7 years of my life working for the same college (an art college!) and when I was laid off from my job in 2010, it took months for me to feel brave enough to even begin something artistic. I had been a hard working, type A employee, always striving to do more, be more, achieve more. When I lost one of the primary things that defined me, I didn't quite know what to do with myself. Secretly, I had been yearning to leave my job for quite some time, and truthfully had intended that I would be leaving on an energetic level in almost the exact timing that I received my notice. Talk about getting what you wish for! Funny that it didn't feel so "divine" or as a gift received when it happened, but it absolutely was.
I tried other things first, but the canvas kept calling my name. I finally listened and signed up for my first painting e-course in honor of my 40th birthday in September of 2012. It was as if I had finally come home. There was an inner joy that I experienced in playing with color and seeing where the painting process would take me. I can't say that the time from being laid off until now has been all sunshine and roses. It hasn't been. I have shed a lot of tears, excavated a lot of neglected fears and often been confused about my place in the world and what it is that I am here to do and BE. But, with each step forward, with each rock unearthed, I allow in more of the light and come to embrace and love that which I have seen as shadow. I am grateful each and every day for the experiences that have shaped my life, for the love and light that has always surrounded me.
I truly love and cherish life. I am filled with overwhelming feelings of love, expansion, gratitude and appreciation. I am a mother of two amazing spirits, aged 6 and 9. I have been gifted with an enormous amount of time to be with them as they grow and blossom into their fullest selves. It is an honor to be a mom and it is truly the most challenging, soul cleansing, exhausting and exhilarating endeavor that I have ever been called to do. I am married to a man who has supported me through every step of my journey; who has stood faithfully by as I have wept from the depth of my soul and squealed with delight at the top of my lungs. He is an artist who has helped mirror back to me my own inner artist. He loves me when I'm not feeling the love and is eternally patient with my soul's meanderings.
Thank you for finding me here and for sharing a little piece of life's journey with me.