I grew up making crafts, anything that would keep my hands busy, but I never thought of myself as an artist.
I studied writing in college having decided sometime in high school that I was destined to become a bestselling novelist. I had been submitting my creative writing for a few years, getting small jobs here and there, once writing murder mystery party games (surprisingly the most lucrative freelance work I ever found) once writing serial fantasy fiction for a subscription group. But nothing was taking off.
At about 24 I began scrapbooking, leveraging my husband’s interest in photography and the irresistible charm of my son. I entered my work in a contest with a magazine and I won. I started making scrapbook pages and art for national brands and companies and I used the connections I made to pitch and write a book.
My book talked about creative ways to use scrapbooking to document family history. I saw a lot of scrapbook pages and artwork that paired antique family photos with boring brown and cream-colored surroundings and frankly just didn’t do justice to the living beings in the photos.
I was trying to find ways to connect with the people in the photos. My family members. The people who came before me.
I started painting about five years ago. While watching the rainbow pigments swirling and settling in the water, I lost myself. Everything dropped away.
It wasn’t long before I really didn’t want to do anything else.
And when I go looking for inspiration for my paintings I keep coming back to my old family photos. I see there an inkling of what I was trying to uncover a decade ago when I wrote my book.
Each photo is a story.
Each person is a character in the grand epic story that is my life, that is all life.
In this space I’ll uncover the stories of my family, share them with you through words and art and document my process. I’ll share what I learn so that maybe you too will be inspired to find and retell your own family stories.