Hello! Grab your favorite beverage (mine will be either coffee or bourbon depending on the time of day), make yourself comfy and let’s chat.
The briefest synopsis of my life is that I was born, raised and married military. While I’ve never served, I am a lifelong military family member. With that came multiple transfers to new locations. This journey took me to Alaska, Texas, Florida, Arizona and South Carolina. Along the way, I grew up, married the love of my life, and had an amazing Kiddo. In 2003, my husband left the military and we found ourselves in West Virginia. For the first time in my life, I was home.
As life progressed, I tried to be perfect at every stereotypical title. Wife, mother, housekeeper, employee, and volunteer. At 42 I received an associate’s degree in Business Administration and my first prescription for anti-depressants. Trying to fit into unyielding societal molds was damaging both my mental and physical health. It was time to make some changes. As part of my healing I joined two groups: a women’s counseling group and a life coaching circle. Those strong, opinionated, West Virginian women changed my world. I learned to communicate clearly, set boundaries and most of all release the “me” who had been chained to titles of perfection that didn’t fit my skin or my soul. In a guided meditation we were asked to envision our future self. It came as a total surprise to see a version of me that was messy, covered in paint and clay but laughing joyously. I wanted that future now!
Even without creative training or education, art has always been a part of my world, but it needed to have a purpose. It had to be functional or made as a gift. I didn’t create just for the joy of it. Both of my groups encouraged me to begin creating again. Before long I was using store bought stamps to make decorative coasters. I also began designing wire wrapped jewelry. These were fun but did not light my heart up. In December of 2014 I packed up my jewelry making supplies and headed to an artist’s retreat in North Carolina. The artist, Jeanne Bessette, helped other artists find their “truth”. She asked me why I wasn’t sculpting. After all, jewelry was just tiny sculptures you wear. Hmmmm…
I pulled out some epoxy I had brought to try in jewelry making, Jeanne made a base for me and I sculpted a fish. Wow! What a rush!
Back at home, I put away the jewelry tools or re-purposed them for sculpting. In June of 2015 the first Dreamer sculpture was born. Inspired by my own journey through depression “That Tiny Ray of Light” helped me find my place in the YOUniverse. As I learned more about self-care, the importance of including alcohol ink painting in my creative practice became clear. Both ways of creating are now regularly honored in my studio.
All my artwork is a continuation of what was learned from my two circles of WV Women. Each piece is a study of empowerment, kindness and deep communication with self. Art is a way to let go of titles and expectations that tarnish our spirit and replace them with our dream self and wearing those new titles like a crown. I am still an imperfect Wife and Mother (the Hubs and Kiddo are my biggest supporters) but, today, I choose to wear the crown of ...
Artist ~ Sculptor ~ Dreamer