IMG_1306 - Version 2My Journey toward Creativity

I started out as a small child very interested in expressing myself through my hands. My mother reported that I would sit with my hands in the air, wiggling my fingers as if I was just itching to do something with them. Drawing was at the forefront of my activities. I wasn’t however encouraged to pursue this in any way other than a hobby. I went on into adulthood being a “square peg”, but thinking I needed to transform myself into a “round peg” to fit into societies “round hole”. I was presented with a couple of options for career choices that women traditionally pursued in the 1970’s. I tried on many of these career choices hoping I would feel fulfilled, but always ending up feeling depressed and directionless.

Along the way my constant need for creativity was used to not only satisfy my creative juices and the need to make things, but also served as my therapy as well. I loved all things creative and experimented with knitting, crocheting, sewing, quiltmaking, pottery, jewelry making, needlepoint and cross stitch. Trying my hand at all these mediums through the years was adding to my collective knowledge base. By dabbling in different mediums, it eventually led me to have not only a broad knowledge of crafting, but also paved the way for me to share this information with others through my jobs at retail hobby stores. The sharing of help and information with customers about their creative pursuits, spawned my desire to teach classes on a variety of creative hobbies.

In particular my love for fabric, sewing, and quilting led to a career as a fabric buyer for an independent fabric store. It was in this store that I taught my first class in quiltmaking. After several years of working for someone else, I decided to open my own quilt shop. After a few years and a move to a new home, I eventually closed this business. This left quite a void in my life and again I was pondering what it was I am supposed to do with my creativity and my career.

Then one day, in my mailbox, I found a catalog for a local art college. I decided that I needed to go backwards in my life path and satisfy something I needed to do much earlier in my life: take formal art classes. I began with an intro to drawing class. I attended the first two weeks of class and struggled through the lessons. I didn’t think I belonged there and I sensed the teacher was wondering the same thing. Then in the third class something clicked in me and I was actually pleased with my drawing, even the teacher complimented my work. Later on that day, my husband asked how my lesson went. I took out my drawing pad and lifted the cover to reveal my drawing. I looked at the drawing I had done just hours earlier as if someone else had drawn it. At that moment I had my epiphany: I could in fact draw and I needed to be at that school! I enrolled in a BFA program and for the next four years, I was exposed to concepts, designs, and techniques that cracked my world wide open. This experience gave me my identity; I was an artist all along, I could be that square peg, somewhere there was a square hole waiting for me.

My medium of choice is mixed media collage. I have realized on my journey toward creativity that my brain is in a constant search everyday for pattern, texture, and color and I need to put those visual concepts into my work as well. Collaging scraps of printed papers and fabrics, pages of text from old books, and the layers of paint and pastels I apply, excites my senses and satisfies my need to convey these concepts in my work.