Monday, January 21, 2008

Becoming an artist

The key to art is finding your spirit
And thinking you can almost hear it

The key to art is looking at all things
Adding a crown or little wings

The key to art is knowing who you are
Taking your dreams and finding your star

The key to art is being true to you
Loving yourself and all that you do!!!

I would not claim that historically there are any famous artists in my past. But there are hundreds of great crafters who set the path of creativity for me.

As a child, I recall Grandma House trying to teach me to crochet a simple green Christmas wreath, only 2 “ in diameter, to wear as a pin. I failed miserably. On the other hand, I won a FIRST place ribbon in art in the 4th grade – for an Indian I made out of an ear of corn. In 6th grade, my girlfriend, Elaine, drew the most gorgeous tree. I tried to draw it but again, it was a complete flop!

Grandma Moore spent hours teaching me how to create miniature scenes inside of intricately hand carved eggshells…. long before dremel tools were available.

Desperately wanting to be an artist, yet never feeling enough courage or self-esteem, I pursued a career in the business world. But I kept my creative side alive by taking nighttime classes and playing on weekends. Over the years, I studied ceramics, leather tooling, macramé, clay art, porcelain dolls, and a variety of other mediums. I started my own teddy bear company. I learned how to restore vintage clothing. I took up silk ribbon embroidery and knitted fuzzy scarves.

Grandma House was quite proud the day I finally presented her with a full sized hand-crocheted afghan!

For years I owned an antique shop where I restored vintage items, specializing in doll and toy repair. I became known as one of the best doll restoration artists in southern California. I designed and created a line of Jewish immigrant peddler dolls.

And then 9/11 happened. It was in a heartbeat that I knew I needed to switch gears and move from just creating, to creative documentation. I wanted to preserve the 30 years of genealogy that I had accumulated. I wanted to bring back the stories that had been lost along the way, and to let future generations know the long history of Kings, Queens, preachers, explorers, adventurers and risk takers in their past.

What greater way to do this than through the art of creative, dimensional scrapbooking, adding bits and pieces of my past with storytelling, and creative embellishments from the present.

As I continue to grow in my craft, I continue to pursue new arenas. I have recently added the realm of precious metal clay – in order to add value to my creations.

A few years ago, mom and I took a road trip to Santa Fe. While wandering one of the many fabulous art galleries, mom introduced me to the owner as “her daughter – the artist”. When we left the store, I protested and tried to assure mom that I was not an artist. She simply looked at me and said, “Yes, you are!”

That was a defining moment in my life. If mom (who is an award winning international watercolor artist) considered me to be an artist, then I was one!

It has been said that “art” is in the eye of the beholder. My mothers’ eyes see me as an artist. I cannot ask for anything more than that!

Tomorrow....a closer look at what's inside this altered perfume box!

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