Ten years ago my sister-in-law, Terri, lost two dear friends within a week of each other. Leah, her best friend since childhood, an exuberant beautiful mother of three died tragically in a car accident. Four days later, Marc, their close friend lost his battle against cancer. Terri believes Marc was willing to let go when he knew Leah would be his angel. Their obituaries ran on the same day directly across the page from each other.
Last year I made a radical decision. I changed my vegetable garden over to a bouquet garden. I decided my life was at a point I wanted to be able to give people bouquets of flowers - not zucchini. Flowers bring happiness and sunshine into a room. That is what I wanted to do.
There were other pieces that played into my decision. I have a hard time pulling weeds. Who gets to decide weeds are less important than veges? And then there are the deer and rabbits and miscellaneous critters, japanese beetles, and did I mention deer? And cucumber virus. Quite honestly, I am not really a very good gardener and I love the farmer's market. So I threw in the towel and started planting flowers. Not any flowers but flowers that can be cut for bouquets. Zinnias, sunflowers, bachelor buttons, daisies, lavender.
Thank you to everyone who gave me such warm encouragement on my new website!
You are all the best.
It was suggested that I post a bit more about myself and my paintings. I thought “I am Alive” might be the perfect catalyst. I am so pleased that “I am Alive” was recently accepted into the International Society of Acrylic Painters Exhibition in Paso Robles, California!
Most of my paintings start with a title – which is a bit backwards from many artists who see an image first and want to capture it. I hear a phrase or feel a feeling and want to share it visually. “I am Alive” started exactly that way.
On a very cold January day in Michigan, I was out running and listening to music. My kids often reprogram my shuffle so I am constantly hearing new songs while running. The song “I’m Alive” from the Broadway show “Next to Normal” suddenly came on and for some reason totally caught my attention – which is what I love about running. I was transfixed: listening to the words, feeling the beat, running, and creating in my head.
“I'm alive, I'm alive, I am so alive, And I'll tell you the truth, If you let me try. You're alive, I'm alive, And I'll show why, If you climb on my back, Then we both can fly. I’m alive. I’m alive.”
Can’t you just feel the beat and the power? There was something about the grayness and cold of day and the song just woke me up. When that happens, I listen to the music over and over and my run takes on a life of it's own. There is nothing better. It is part of my creative process which sometimes makes running so much easier. It's magical. Then the hard work begins - trying to put the image in my head and the emotions that I am feeling on to paper. But I love the challenge. And on that day, "I am Alive" began.
Inhaling life one