I'm only 43 and to be honest with you, I am not entirely sure that I have actualy "bloomed" yet,
but each day I inch ever closer!
I suppose I've spent most of my life believing that in order to BE an artist you had to have a REALLY special giftor else you were just some crazy girl that spent a lot of free timedoodling and coloring things. I spent an incredible amount of my"grown-up" time asking the Universe what the heck it wanted me to be when I grew up, because although I've had a few successful careers, notone of them ever felt like a good fit. The only times I was ever trulycontent was when I was sitting quietly with a big blank journal and piles of markers. Something always happened in those moments thatallowed me to feel more connected to myself, I felt completely happyjust allowing the words and images to spill onto the pages.
But thenthere was THAT voice... I call her NOna, and she is the scratchy littlevoice that pushes me to compare what I do with every other "artsy" girl.She is the one responsible for telling me that I was not good enough, notcreative enough, that I just didn't have that magic touch. For areally long time I let her be the deciding voice in my world, if shesaid NO, I listened, if she said "forget about it," I did. For a longtime I allowed her to control just about everything and got verycomfortable with the idea that I just didn't cut it...and then one dayout of the blue, everything changed.It was Wednesday December 22, and just another ordinary morning in ourhome.
I woke up and was quietly sitting in the living room doodling anddrinking my coffee, asking, for the millionth time, what the heck I shoulddo with my life, when out of nowhere a new voice popped up and she wastelling me that "it was time..." For a few minutes I thought I waslosing my mind because the voice was as clear as a bell, and it soundedalot like me! I immediately knew what "she" meant and almost withoutthinking I started writing down little sentences about myself and doodlingsome sketches to go with them....that was the day that changedeverything. I can't tell you for sure what it was but something magicalhappened that morning that prompted me to temporarily stop all the self-sabotaging banter and give myself permission to just BE. For aweek or so I sketched, wrote and ultimately created a little line ofgreeting cards called Wednesday Wisdom; quirky little ladies that takeall the insanity and observations running around my head and allow me toput them out into the world. Card after card just kept coming and forthe first time I wasn't afraid of being judged and it feltamazing....until the day my husband coaxed me into opening an Etsy shop.Until then it was just me and the little ladies and I was perfectlyfine with that. But for years hubby had seen the piles of writing,sketchy pictures and knew that I wouldn't be happy until I finallymustered the courage to put it out there. Come what may, he convincedme that it was time to do SOMETHING with all these little creations. So, I loaded a few of the cards and prints onto the site and within aday or two, I had my first order, and then my second and they just keptcoming! That was the day I thought maybe, just maybe I might be anartist, not a VanGogh or Renoir, but a Heather Hanson, and that suits me just fine!
My best days are the ones when clients wander into my shop, VISIT IT HERE,
pick up oneof my cards without knowing I'm the one who created it, and theyactually laugh out loud. It's like a tiny little miracle every time Ihear it and a sound I never get tired of. I'm in the process of creatinga new line of cards and products that I hope beyond hope will give everywoman the ability to silence her own scratchy NOna voice long enough tofind her own version of bliss. I believe that each and every one of uscomes to this planet filled with the MOST amazing gifts, the trouble isthat we spend far too much time listening to the NOna's of the world andare rarely ever able to hear what's in our own hearts instead of thenoise around us. Today I am happy to tell you that although NOna isconstantly fighting to be heard, her voice gets a bit quieter every day. With any luck, one day soon she will pack her bags and finally hit theroad for good!
Well perhaps if you want to consider that I have 3 children in their 30’s, 2 grandsons and I’m working on developing a second career, then I guess you could say my world is “ blooming” a little late.
I have always been creative. The smell of a new box of crayons makes the neurons in my brain tingle and I just want to color all over the page. I actually studied art in college but then made other choices and life began to get in the way. I was busy raising a family where there really wasn’t time to dedicate to fine art work. I did fun creative projects with the kids and on my own but nothing I would consider fine art.
Then as all parents come to find, the nest was empty and I longed for a deeper connection to my creative ties. I began taking some painting classes and workshops and I loved that one night a week was mine to go and be creative. Watercolor was my weapon of choice and still is for that matter. And boy was it exciting to watch that paint and water mingle together on the paper creating vibrant new colors and patterns, even though it didn’t always do what I wanted it to do. I studied with some great teachers and absorbed all that I could. I joined local art organizations and became involved in the art community. I would suggest this to any new artist out there. These groups are a wonderful resource and I have made true friendships along the way.
As I continued painting and during my travels I noticed that I had been taking many photos of doorways and architecture. The doorways were intriguing to me. Each one interesting in their own way. Homeowners coming and going through those doors, year after year, oh! the stories that could be told. I started incorporating these doorways into my artwork and as I painted I imagined a story behind each one. Friends and family would send me photos of doorways they would find on their trips or ask to have their special home painted. That’s when I realized I could expand this love of architecture, homes and doorways and share it with others
I have always had a creative side and experimented in various art forms sporadically over the years but I have never really thought of myself as an artist. However since retiring 2 years ago and beginning this next chapter of my life I have had time to explore the world of mixed-media and art journaling. It is funny to think that 34 years ago I had planned on enrolling in art school full time after taking some summer school classes in silk screen at Emily Carr School of Art, but then we bought a house, my life changed and financially it wasn’t the right time to go on an art journey.
I was fortunate to meet a new artist friend Violette and she had just published her book ‘Journal Bliss’which I purchased inspiring me to move into the world of art. Then I discovered Pam Carriker, ‘Art at the Speed of Life’ and Donna Downey they have all been a great influence in my artistic growth.
I challenged myself to do an art journal page each day for 30 days to keep myself growing artistically. I explored various artist blogs, bought books on mixed-media and joined a few on-line communities, participated in on-line workshops and all of that has helped me grow and become a mixed-media artist. I also discovered taking my scanned art pages and using them in digital collage, which I love – there is no mess to clean up! I am delightfully surprised when I compare my creations now to a year and half ago and how art brings so much joy into my life.
I created my blog that I could record my journey in the art world and post some of my work. My dream and passion is to create art that relays affirmations for kindness, living from the heart, the power of positive thoughts and to believe that there is magic in your dreams.
Each day is a new creative adventure and I am excited to see where the road leads me and who knows along the way I may inspire others that is never to late to discover their artistic side.
I became a late bloomer creatively when I was about 37 years old.
I was working in the Real Estate industry, but felt like something was missing from my life. I was on my lunch hour one day, and wandered into a jewelry store. The owner was there, at his jewelry bench, and I spontaneously asked him what one had to do in order to learn how to make jewelry. And all of a sudden, I found myself confiding in this complete stranger that my life didn't feel like it had any meaning. I started to cry, and was astonished by the emotions that were spilling out of me. He listened, and said, "You start bydoing it. You will figure it out, but I have to get back to work now," or something along those lines. It was one of those moments in my life where I heard exactly what I needed to hear--no more, no less.
I made a trip up to Seattle the next weekend to see a friend, and she took me to a bead store. I bought some beads after the owner of the bead store showed me how to form a loop in a headpin and attach it to an ear wire. I grabbed onto beads like a life preserver, and was content to make beaded jewelry in my spare time.
About a year passed, and my husband and I decided to sell most of our possessions and our house, and we went on the road with his business as a computer consultant. We were living in Singapore, and one day, as I was walking around the Arab part of the city, I ducked into a perfume shop to get out of a rainstorm. As I was poking around a back room, I found a box with some old tribal jewelry from the areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. In one brief moment, I found my passion in oxidized metal. I told myself that I would learn how to make metal jewelry one day, and on that day, my life changed forever I couldn't get the way that jewelry felt to me emotionally out of my head.
I was determined to learn how to work with metal in a meaningful way.
After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, we were transferred to Metairie. While back in the States, I saw an article somewhere about Lynn Merchant's wire work. Her jewelry made my heart pound like it did in that shop in Singapore. I found a jewelry supply store and began my creative career in metal. I attended my first craft show where I sold my work and never looked back.
On my 45th birthday, something inside me remembered that I used to want to be a writer and a photographer. I had this dream that as I walked past a book store, there in the window would be piles of my hugely popular books! It occurred to me to stop waiting. There would never be exactly enough time or just the right (write?) moment, so it was now or never. With that idea in mind, I started my blog, Adventures in Laughter. Living with 3 boys, 2 dogs, and 1 husband, there is usually something that gets my fingers tapping on the keyboard!
Along my path as a late bloomer, I also became a certified yoga instructor. I love the calmness practicing yoga brings me after a class. Besides, if for some reason I miss a few classes, my kids remind me to go to class! My son said it best when he told me one day, Mom, I like you better when you do yoga!
My photography is still a work in progress, but I'm having fun working on it
While I may not love the crow's feet around my eyes, or the sun spots that pop up (who knew tin foil and baby oil would be bad for you?)