Once you make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I was a little girl I can remember being asked by adults, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My earliest recollection of my answer was “I’m going to be an artist!” When I was a little older and started to master writing, my answer would be punctuated with an "…or a writer!” The truth is, as a child, I was wildly creative and loved anything related to art, music, writing and nature. My happiest moments were of Long Island summers, being outside, and playing in the yard. My favorite medium to play with was MUD! I spent many an hour making mud pies, and other imaginary culinary delights using sticks, stones, grass, weeds, leaves, basically anything that was naturally occurring in the yard. So why would it come to be a surprise to me that 45 some odd years later I should find myself playing with mud, as, you guessed it, an ARTIST!
It took me a very long time, almost 30 years, to realize that I had been listening to those nay-saying voices in my head, and running from the very thing I wanted….to be an artist. After high school, I did everything I could to make the idea fit into a neat box. Of my many careers were: paste-up artist, graphic designer, sign maker, web designer, hairdresser, and even secretary, because my mom said I should do that and do my art on the side (that one didn’t work out too well). During the last five years, I supported other artists and patients by creating an arts program at the hospice where I worked. I loved helping others and supporting others, but I realized I was doing it at the exception of myself.
Maybe part of my distancing myself from my desires is that in the dreams of my artist utopia I Imagined myself in a Manhattan loft in Greenwich Village, a small windowed space, with a lazy cat, and my paints and canvas. I saw myself having one woman shows in the local galleries, and perhaps travelling the country with my art: Chicago, LA, Paris, and eventually wind up with some pieces at the Metropolitan or the Smithsonian. Over time this idea became more and more of a pipe dream, and in some way, the fact that this idea seemed so far from reality stopped me from allowing the dream to manifest as it was meant to. I mean, if it didn’t fit into the idea I had held how could it possibly happen?
Two main blocks came to the surface: first, I had left NY many years ago, and found myself on the gorgeous firma of the blue ridge mountains of Virginia. And second, to my utmost surprise, when I began stepping into that idea of being a painter, I found I really didn’t enjoy painting. It was almost like a cosmic joke. All my life I thought of myself as this untried master painter that would someday find her voice. So, I’m not in NY, and I hate to paint. What kind of artist AM I??? Then a beautiful thing happened. I let go of what I thought I should be, and took a step to exercise my voice, mud came out! Yes, I would have never pictured myself as a ceramic artist working out of a treetop studio in the middle of a mountain community in rural Virginia, but this is how it’s happening.
I've had many people, events and happenings help support me on this particular road. Things I would have never thought could have happened. And what I learned is sometimes you have to let go of your ideas of what it would look like to be a _________ or to do _________, and just take a step and let the universe (or God) or just blind faith, direct your path. Once you make that decision to move into that space, the universe does conspire to make your deepest desires a reality, even if you are not really sure what that looks like. As far as having shows at local galleries and travelling around the country with my art, well I am working on that part, and very excited to see what the universe has in store. in the mean time, check the home page to find my functional work at several festivals and holiday markets around the Shenandoah Valley Area, an of course, on my ETSY store.