I was raised in a rural Quaker community without a television or commercialized toys, so I spent most my time playing outdoors and inventing new games. I was very close to my great-grandmother, who instilled the importance of understanding, embracing and learning from others different from myself, altruism and the importance of helping those less fortunate. I firmly believe the spirit to accomplish anything is inside each of us, all we have to do is try.
My paternal ancestral tree has an abundant variety of artists beginning in the 7th century. From a young age I loved to draw, but my father was very practical and didn't see the value in art, so I was forbidden to draw unless it was part of a school assignment. A friend showed my secret book of sketches to the art teacher and she convinced him to allow me to take art as an elective.
Unfortunately, art took a backseat in life. Over the years I gave work away as gifts and did some commissioned work, but there have only been a few brief periods where I had time to create work for the purpose of selling in galleries. I felt there'd always be time later; well this is later.
Several years ago my hands became increasingly weak, began to noticeably tremble and twitch. I was diagnosised with cervical and upper thoracic spondylosis. My condition is irreversible, so my career as a medical massage therapist was over. With the aid of medication and working in short bursts, I'm still able to paint. My interests have always been eclectic; my desire is to try anything that pops into my head. Being a firm believer of one door opening when another closes, I'm looking forward to exploring new mediums and paths.
Art and poetry are both sides of the same creative coin. Poetry and short stories also provided an outlet for the rejection and isolation often associated with children and teens, with disorders such as ADHD and dyscalculia. Although my Turner Syndrome is on the milder scale, I didn't grow and develop like other girls, which also made me a target for extreme bullying, teasing and peer humiliation.
Whether it was empathy or the desire to share the power of art, I started a charity offering free art classes for terminally ill children. I recruited financial sponsors, volunteers, local artists to teach their medium and galleries willing to do exhibitions, so kids could display their work, talk about what inspires them and even sell their work. I later extended classes to troubled children and teens and victims of domestic violence. Occasionally, a composition prompts a painting, other times a piece inspires the poem.