We will be sharing our blog on a regular basis with people who have been strengthened, nurtured, encouraged and brought to a new level through the textile arts. I hope you will be uplifted by their stories.
I’ve always wanted to be an artist. For me it was instinctual and as natural as breathing, but it never came easy. As a kid I was already very hard of hearing. It made me an outsider because it took a log time before my parents and teachers were aware that I had a serious hearing problem. My grades were poor and I couldn’t interact the way other children did. So I watched- I experienced everything visually, and not as a whole sensory experience. Hearing people don’t realize how much the loss of hearing can affect every aspect of your life. So I felt I didn’t have a voice- but art is the process of finding your voice. And the times when I lost my art, I lost my voice. I’ve been through a lot- but the worst time of my life was in 1990- I had an ectopic pregnancy and was told I couldn’t have children. My mother had died less than a year before and I was still coping with the aftermath. A few months after the surgery (with complications), my husband said he wanted a divorce. He told his friends since I couldn’t have kids, he wanted someone who could. My life crashed for about 8-9 years. I lost everything and then got hit with another emergency major surgery. It was a struggle to get up on the morning, it was a struggle to eat, to work, to breathe.
I had stopped working on anything artistic, and then, one day my sister told me she wanted to go into business with me and we would do the hi-end art and craft shows. And it started me thinking. Art is a painful, exhilarating process. It’s very intense- and I wasn’t sure if I could handle creating new work, if I was strong enough. But you take baby steps. And the first step was learning to play. To relearn how to take joy in doing a drawing, sewing a fine stitch, sculpting a face. And then you watch your hands start to reconnect to your heart and your brain. And suddenly a flood of idea when you realize that you can do this. That’s when the exhilaration starts. And the joy. Art makes you see, art lets you speak.
Those feelings, and the joy of making something, having your head flooded with possibilities – those things pulled me out of myself and made me realize several things. My life was mine to create. I could find joy in little things, as well as big. The process of growing through my work helped me find my voice and when I found my voice, I found me.