About the Artist: In the beginning

I have always believed that magic is all around us if we choose to see it. I am as practical as the next person but I can suspend my disbelief at the drop of a hat, and often do. But as a “responsible adult” and ambitious public relations executive, for most of my life, I judged my success on my job title and how well I provided for my family.

People often accused me of being creative. They said this because I love to wear bold colors and bright lipstick. But as far as I could tell there was nothing creative or artistic about me. I couldn’t draw, paint, design a room or make up a story. I thought scrapbooking was for morons and crafting a form of child therapy.

But something inside was trying to get out. In my spare time I enrolled in drawing and painting classes (“anyone can learn to draw!”) but always gave up after a few weeks of dismal humiliation and lack of discipline. Why force myself to do something after making myself go to work all week?! ( I did enjoy shopping for all the art supplies!) I envied artists and knew I could never be one of them.

Finally, as I entered my sixth decade, I signed up for a collage class. It was a default move because what I’d really wanted was to learn how to do mosaic artwork. But nothing really presented itself as a good option for learning mosaic so I landed in paper collage instead. Not a huge leap, as you still take small parts and group them to make something else. The class was like heaven to me from the very beginning. For one thing, I didn’t need an innate talent for drawing, sketching, or painting. I could choose my own raw materials and place them in ways that were meaningful to me. The options were endless and there was plenty of room for fantasy and creativity. The right side of my brain had found its voice.

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