As I approach what seems like at least 70 years of making things, I am frequently asking my Self why I have done that. The simple answer is that my hands have felt compelled to be busy, my heart enjoyed making things out of practically nothing and my mind was entertained.
My career has been varied and seems to have come full circle several times in my creative life. Some of my very early memories see me in the alley of my home in El Reno, Oklahoma, sculpting hideaways in the tall Johnson grass, and collecting fascinating dried clay shapes. Which eventually led to collecting grass clippings and making tiny adobe bricks that created little fairy villages on the lone tree trunk. All of that was a gateway to clay sculpture and mixed media.
My mother saved almost everything my sisters and I ever made. When it was time to clean the family home attic, it was a treasure trove of insight into my Self that was largely lost while getting on with the business of Living Life. Apparently grade school inspired me to write, and produces handmade neighborhood newspapers and little illustrated story books. Today, the Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia, saved from that attic, is in my studio, and never fails to interest and inspire me. I fondly remember when some debate occurred in the family, my father would go to a shelf of reference books, and announce he was going to “surf his web.”
It also occurs to me that I have come from a long line of women who knew how to use a needle and thread, both practically and decoratively. This connection touches me deeply when I consider the long, slow movement to equality of rights that so many women face, and is an important part of the elaborate textile assemblages that I have created.
When I question how much more work the world needs from me, the answer is mixed: not much and yet I am compelled to express myself, so will continue to make somethings. Such is Life and Art.
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