Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Friday, October 2, 2009

Becoming an Artist

I grew up in a home with creative people.  I didn't especially think about my parents as creative, but looking back, I know where some of my gifts have come from.  My Father built the house we lived in.  He had so much talent.  My Mother was right beside him, helping, designing and creating our home.

My Grandmother, Gladys Rankin, was a seamstress.  She had her own business making little girls smocked dresses.  I'm not sure how or when this all began, I do remember going with her on Saturdays to make dress deliveries in Dayton, Ohio.  Her business name was "Miller Frocks".  My Grandmother has been gone many years now, I still have many of her sewing labels and buttons and even some of the fabric with smocking on it.  My Mother often helped her make dresses.  I remember the sewing room in our house that was used for creating beautiful little dresses.   (This photo was taken in 1956 at Easter, Grandma's dresses)

I too learned to sew.  I took sewing projects in 4-H, everything from nightgowns to formal wear.  There was no end to the sewing  possibilities.  My daughters also took sewing projects in 4-H.  I kept sewing as a young married wife.  Making curtains, children's play clothes and later quilts.  I still have all the equipment to sew, including a quilting machine.  For awhile I quilted other peoples pieced quilts.  My sewing room waits, just in case I want to come back and sew.

As my children got older and we began to move into horses and outdoor sports, I stopped sewing so much.
Now it is hard to even plug in the machine to patch a pair of jeans.  Funny how things change.  But my sewing knowledge has been helpful in what I do now.  In fact, many things I learned to do while being a homemaker has proved to be an asset in gourd art.  As a homemaker, besides sewing, I learned to weave baskets, I took a couple of jewelery making classes, I have been a gardener, and I have handled tools in my husbands shop. 

All of these things are important steps to being a gourd artist.  The sewing stitches come when I do a coil weave of fibers on the rim of a gourd.  The basket skills have helped me do weaving techniques, knowing how jewelery is put together helps with beading projects on gourds.   Of course knowing how to use hand tools and this helps with cleaning and opening gourds.  Gardening gourds is another adventure that taught me the joy of growing gourds!  

My biggest hangup had to do with artwork............   I'd never been encouraged to spend time drawing, took not one art class in school (beyond elementary art projects, where everyone makes exactly the same thing!).
So drawing on gourds to create any kind of design has taken lots of practice.   Some of my early pieces are very primitive and I am more than a little shocked people paid money for these gourds.  But alas, my artwork has evolved and more often than not, pleases me.  Oh, I still have some work that is very questionable, but that is how we learn.  I started my gourd work in 1999.  I still have a passion to do it and love everything about gourds. 

In 2008, I took my first real art class from wonderful painter.  Amelia Bhatnagar, has been so supportive of my primitive attempts at painting with acrylics.  Because of her encouragement I plowed forward, often without  fear, it is only just paint on paper.  If it doesn't work, paint over it, I like that!   No mistakes, only lessons in what works and what doesn't.  The first year I painted 42 paintings.  Some I love, others, not so much.   But it is fun to see the growth.  From my paintings I have made prints, cards and a calendar.  I have had the most fun! 

I am always excited and eager for the next creative expression to be shown to me.  Taking pictures this past summer with my digital camera has been amazing.  I never know what will come next and isn't that a wonderful thing?  The doors are always opening and I am thrilled to be on the threshold of those open doors.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful work Cynthia

    ...when creating with passion, I believe
    that energy attaches to the creation for others to enjoy...

    THNX! for the energy