In preparation for our December show, The Art of Memory, fellow artist and friend Robert Hale and I were each asked to shed a little light on the origins of our work. I thought I would share what I had to say here on Creative Fits, since it pretty much explains what's behind all my work.
"Growing up in Mississippi, in a family of story tellers and writers, I dig deep into my Southern roots and memories for inspiration for my art. I remember, as a very young child, being so driven to create, that I went to the street and collected broken bits of colored glass, constructing my first piece of mixed media art on a scrap of old cardboard. Anything I could find became fodder for my creative fits. Dried flowers, torn tickets stubs, tattered lace, scavenged letters, and maps ripped from an old atlas all found their way into the layers of my collages and paintings.
I began teaching children's art classes at seventeen, and realized in college that I wanted to work with students with emotional and learning difficulties. As a special educator, I've used art as a therapeutic tool, helping my students to understand that each of us is responsible for our own healing, and that we are all capable of creating the reality we've imagined. Through artistic expression we can touch the creative awareness within us, allowing us to perceive our connectedness to all things and to direct our energy toward a deeper level of consciousness and constructive channels of purpose.
In these paintings are the souvenirs of my memories: images from my childhood, glimpses and traces of the places I’ve been and the people I’ve known, layered and marked with the symbolic calligraphy of a secret language. The art of memory."
This is one of the new pieces for the show. It's based on memories of a recurring dream of the ocean and seashells washed in by the tide. I'll be spending the rest of my Thanksgiving holiday finishing up a few more paintings which I'll share with you here. In the meantime, I hope that you had a lovely Thanksgiving and made many happy memories of your own!
Water Music I 16" X 16" acrylic, ink, and oil crayon for Paint Party Friday