Monday, December 29, 2008

Creative History

I cannot remember a time I didn't create. It seems almost instinctual to me to express myself artistically. This is due entirely to my parents. My beautiful mother always had my mind and hands involved in some project and craft. She took on new challenges headfirst and worked them until she mastered them. From her I learned to sew, to do needlepoint, embroidery, make all kinds of beautiful baskets from many types of fibers and grasses, to work a loom, to explore and create. What she could not teach me she took me to lessons. I took music, drawing, painting and dance. She got me involved in community theater.
My parents were avid gardeners as well and half our backyard was a garden. From this I learned the joy and patience of watching hard work flourish and bloom., as well as the satisfaction of reaping the rewards of hard work. I also learned about setbacks, like watching the promise of a bountiful crop decimated by tomato hornworms when we had never seen such an insect in the history of the garden.

My father is an engineer, a builder, a problem solver. Whereas my mother would dive unafraid head first into a project, he would think, measure, draw charts, calculate and plan. I felt growing up that he could fix, build or solve anything. His way of looking for and finding the best solution to a problem was a huge influence on my creative thought process. He showed me a way of looking at things from all angles and how the smallest details were as important as the overall project. It was a waste of time to create something that was makeshift, unattractive and did not last. The quality of the work you did was equally important as getting the job done.I continued to study art in college. First illustration, then metalsmithing. I had an unofficial minor in fiber arts, taking classes in weaving and batik. It was here I first dyed silk. Though I went on to work as a jeweler after college, my love of color never weakened.Then it happened - I took my first belly dance class as a way of getting some fun exercise. I was immediately in love. It was the only form of dance I had ever experienced where I felt I could immerse myself in all the way. Here was a medium where I could express myself physically, emotionally and creatively while showering myself in glittering color.

I am enchanted with silk. It seems to have a life of its own, embracing the dancer as she moves. In this way it becomes an integral part of her and the music. To me this is the perfect medium, a living canvas so to speak. I strive to share and express myself creatively while producing a quality product that will be cherished for years to come. I am further pleased to watch my work in the hands of other artists and sharing in their own expression of creativity.

I have since expanded from dance silks to scarves, pants, other apparel for everyone. It is a continuing journey, I can't wait to see where I end up!

Be Happy ~ Dance ~ Enjoy!