Divorce, death, age, loneliness were all about to hit me like a baseball bat to the gut. Why all of these things happened at the same time? I wanted to believe that “what does not kill us makes us stronger”—instead I felt like curling up on the couch and sucking my thumb. I felt I had no more tears left.
Instead of hermitizing, the first thing I did on the Monday morning after my youngest left for college was to call the local disposal company and order a big dumpster! I spent three days throwing out and purging all the crap in the house and garage. I filled two dumpsters, by the way, and it felt great! I’d seen those reality TV shows where they make over people’s environment. That did turn out to be wonderful therapy.
A cleaning and remodeling frenzy was next in order to establish a new environment that would be mine! This is where my artistry was born. I painted every room in the house. If it was white, it was going to be something different, something warm and inviting and cozy! I always find it strange that people have a fear of change. Even so much as just painting a room a different color. Lordy be … you can always paint it white again!
When I got to the kitchen, I went crazy with dark sage/fern-like colors swooping and swirling and sponging. I grabbed a gold-leafing pen and scattered marks all over the wall. It looked awesome.
The only problem was my favorite oil painting that I had of Mom’s. With the new color on the wall, it just didn’t fit. So, “Ah hah!” I say to my brilliant self. “I can buy a canvas and paint my own!” Well, I thought I could. What I ended up with was a comical cross between contemporary art and baby puke.
I stood back and actually laughed out loud. A friend came over to see my progress and took one look at my art. She, too, screamed with laughter. I always remember to laugh, because if we don’t we’ll cry!
In my “Do-It-Myself” attitude, I walked around the house with a tub of spackle, filling holes and cracks in the walls. I wandered passed the ruined canvas lying on the kitchen floor. I plopped down beside it and dug my hand into the spackle and started to play on the canvas. A feeling of calm and peace came over me—a feeling I hadn’t experienced in some time! When the spackle dried, I found some ivory paint and some glaze and repainted the canvas. The result astounded me. It was gorgeous.
A year has gone by since that frenzy. What has blossomed from the turmoil is a profound passion I never thought existed in my soul. I’ve discovered I can sculpted with my spackle and create forms and visions and dimensions that I could never do with just paint.
I have a new appreciation for my Mom’s oil paintings. I’m able to bring to life all kinds of appealing pieces not only on canvas, but now directly on the wall. I have been commissioned to do all kinds of different genres and am loving every minute.
People tell me I have a personality that is larger than life. I hug on the first meeting. When I talk, my hands are anywhere but at my sides. I talk a mile a minute, which stems from the days as a broadcast journalist.
Embracing the death of my Mother (I shed tears daily I miss her so much) and forcing myself to live was the most excruciating time in my life. Today, the art that was born from her death reaches all corners of the world. Whether it is simple and inexpensive or very detail/high-dollar commissioned pieces, my art and enthusiasm are catching on!