I haven’t always been an artist or a writer. Although I was highly creative as a child, I lost touch with that aspect of myself about the time I reached puberty, discovered boys, and started caring too much about what other people thought of me.
It wasn’t until my late 30s that I began to feel the need to express myself again. I can’t point to a particular event that stirred my creativity – maybe it was as simple as meeting middle age or having a host of creative friends. Whatever it was, I suddenly discovered that I needed a creative outlet. I went through several mediums before I settled on the one that encompasses all others: Contemporary Mixed-Media. Inspired by some of the amazing blogs on the internet, I also started writing again, my first true creative love.
Now, I find myself in my late 40s, wife to an amazing man and mother to The Three Amigos (our beloved cats). I have finally decided to take my art and writing seriously, to meet them halfway by showing up and doing the work on a regular basis. I’m a dabbler by nature, so this is requiring quite a commitment from me.
2011 is my year to really explore what I want and what it means to me to be an artist and a writer. It is my year to put myself out there and see what happens. I don’t know what this year will bring, but it will be amazing, I’m sure!
I make art because I can’t not make art. It’s my way to work and play, simultaneously. And it’s my way to maintain my balance in life. There is a certain timelessness that I experience when I’m creating that encourages me to be present in my life. Making art brings me a joy that nothing else does. Contemporary Mixed-Media is my main mode of artistic expression, although I also write and play with photography.
I do this kind of play-work because I am a dabbler at heart, and mixed-media allows me to experiment with all kinds of tools (papers, paints, stencils, inks, rubber stamps, etc.) in the same piece. Nothing is off limits. If it can be used to make a mark, I use it! I do, however, hope to paint more and collage less in the future and use my own photographs in my work, too.
I am constantly making decisions about where to put a certain element , what color to use next, or what technique will best communicate what I’m feeling. Most of my decisions are made by whim in the early part of a piece, when the most important part is to cover the empty canvas. Later, as I continue to build layers, I start to be concerned about balance and color harmony.
Making art not only brings me joy, but allows me to share that joy with others. The delight I feel when I am creating shows itself in the layers of paint and paper that make up my work. That pleasure is why I create in the first place.