My Artistic Evolution
I create fiber vessels, window panels and lamps. Loose fibers: wool, mohair, bamboo and silk are sewn (not felted!) into a design. Then each creation has multiple layers of paint and resin. People say they look like stained glass. And several folks have said I’m the "Chihuly of fiber"!
Let me tell you a smidge about how I became a working artist in Asheville, North Carolina. I grew up in Southern California. My Oregon Grandmother taught me to sew, and that began my lifelong love affair with fiber. I still enjoy picking needle, thread and fabric and creating art quilts. Back in the day, I learned to surf and make surfboards. After a stint in the legal field, my husband and I had the brilliant idea to move to his family's farm in Ohio with our two small children. We became Angora goat ranchers, producing high-quality fiber for hand spinners. After the kids (the human ones!) were grown, I went back to the legal field, working at a local Legal Aid program.
While at Legal Aid, I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. I underwent radiation treatment, and I'm fine. During that treatment, whilst lying on my back with tears running into my ears, I was overcome with how fortunate I was to be alive. How even in that situation, my life was filled with blessings. People and things to have GRATITUDE for.
A vision came to me of a colored vessel filled to overflowing with blessings. That vision is the vessel you'll see on the home page. It is the first one I created. I still have that first vessel here in our little bungalow. I scribble daily blessings on snippets of paper and add those to the vessel....of people and things I have GRATITUDE for.
My husband and I moved to Asheville - the City we have loved for over a decade a few years ago, and we renovated a tiny West Asheville 1925 Bungalow. The colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the trees, the rocks, the magnificent French Broad River - that abundant beauty spoke to my soul and the artist in me. The first time I saw that River, with the late afternoon sun shimmering on it, I knew I was home! That beauty of nature - that quiet yet powerful beauty - is part of the statement that each of my pieces conveys.
So, for me, that vision of a vessel that came to me in that horrible time, was a Holy thing, something I had to take up and join with the Universe in creating. Blew off half a year trying to find directions or someone to teach me. But in the end, it came down to me. To join the vision I had been given with the skills from my past to make that first vessel come to life. I used my Grandmother’s sewing skills, and some of that beach surfboard-making knowledge to accomplish this. Dogged persistence, failures, and doubt. My thinking? If you have been given a vision of where to do with your life, receive it with utter GRATITUDE. Listen to yourself: you’ll know the answer to transforming the vision into reality.
Daily, I have such GRATITUDE to create an art form. My hope is that these pieces may bring a memory to someone who has seen the beauty of our Blue Ridge Mountains, to remind them that life is a blessing As an artist, that is a awesome path to be on.
So I ask you: What do you have to be thankful for now, even in that hard or scary place we can all go? What are your blessings? What blessings will you note on random slips of paper to fill your vessel with?