starting with my only daughter, michelle, who is such an inspiration to me. a girl who has never sewn a day in her life yet she started making, from scratch, the most gorgeous rag dolls in the later part of last year. you see, michelle found herself unable to work in the corporate world due to injuries she sustained in a car accident at the very end of 2007, however, she woke up one morning and said she had a dream about making dolls and so she did. how cool is that?! michelle also is a talented artist and i think she's planning on getting back into that too.
next, there is aaron, my youngest, who just started grade five at school. he is my constant companion and is a great help to me. we do a lot of stuff together such as, crafting, painting, photography outings, animal crusades, gardening, shopping, etc.....needless to say he gets spoiled rotten by all of us.
then there is me......well, you know about me already so i won't bore you with any more details.
next is bradley who, in the picture, appears to be wearing a rather large, old-fashioned wig which is, in fact, a set of headphones. lol you see, brad LOVES music hence the little music notes rising above his head. brad has been legally blind and hearing impaired since birth but that doesn't stop him playing the electronic keyboards or being a bit of a computer whizz. he really knows his stuff.
then comes beau who, most times, stands with the foot of one leg firmly anchored against the knee of his other leg. funny thing is that i used to stand that exact same way in my teen years. lol beau is a manager at 'target' but is also a keen photographer and artist who works mostly in coloured pencil, graphite and, most recently, pastels. he creates from his emotions and his work is amazing! beau loves animals and music too. he recently bought himself an electric guitar and has a classical guitar on order. i don't know if my poor ear drums will be quite ready for the onslaught. lol
then there is reece who, as my regular readers will already know, is big into fitness and personal training....hence the weights in his hands and, of course, the big muscles depicted on his arms. lol i forget what the big hat was supposed to symbolise. reece isn't too bad at drawing and he's a natural when it comes to playing guitar. when he first bought his guitar a year ago, i showed him the basic chords and, by the end of that week, he had taught himself, with brad's help, to play notes and songs.
lastly, is alex....michelle's de facto boyfriend. they have been together for four years and are perfectly suited. he has been a tower of strength for michelle since her accident and he fits into our family perfectly. alex likes surfing and, in the pic, is racing to the beach with surfboard in hand. i love how beau depicted alex with his hair blowing in the wind.
so, there you have it.....my family. poor cody, my dog, was not included but, rest assured, he is a much loved member of the family too.
i found this chapter a little hard to get into but, after reading some of the other '12 secret' blogger posts, i'm relieved to see that i wasn't the only one.
this secret/chapter speaks of taking risks, following our creative intuition, developing staying power and listening to our hearts.
as i turn 50 in march, i can look back and see that i've taken some life-changing risks along the way and, while those risks may not have worked out at the time (mainly concerning relationships), i feel they helped to bring me to where i am today. i've been happily divorced for 9 years, i have a loving and close relationship with all five of my kids and, because i stay home and care for my oldest son, bradley, i am able to paint and craft when i can. yes, money is tight but we're happy.
as far as following my creative intuition.....well, i'm torn because i feel myself being pulled in different directions. my skills lie in realism animal art which i love and will always love, however, in the past year i have found myself feeling drawn more and more towards the world of mixed media art. this area is very new to me as i'm used to having reference images to work from but i'm loving it. i hear some artists say that we need to each find our own special niche and focus solely on that.....e.g. if you're an animal artist, specialise by only painting animals. i love realism animal art but i am also loving the new experience with mixed media art. starting with a blank canvas and having absolutely no idea where it's going to end up is a freeing experience for me. these are two very different styles of art. do i sacrifice one for the sake of the other or is it possible to enjoy both at the same time? do i harm my fine detail skills if i loosen up too much for the mixed media art? things to think about but why not enjoy both if i can?
yet another decision i'm currently facing is that i have recently been asked to draw up some 'australian aboriginal' portrait samples for an 'aboriginal art dealer' with the possibility that it may well bring me some paid work. while i'm fairly confident that i would be capable of portraiture, i've never felt the desire to be a portrait artist. my heart says no to this offer but my head is thinking...well it's money too.
i guess i'm a little selfish in wanting to follow my own desires. i'm not so sure i see this offer as an opportunity after having made the 'money' mistake once before when i took up teaching art because it conveniently crossed my path one day. teaching was something i never felt drawn to but i figured it crossed my path for a reason and i thought it would help a little on the financial side of things. i ended up resenting the teaching because it kept me away from my own art time and i ended up feeling suffocated. i was designing subject matter solely for what others wanted to paint, all the time yearning to paint the things i wanted to paint. after five years of teaching, i felt immense relief last year when i made the decision to stop teaching altogether.
so, do i choose this 'portraiture' path that i'm not feeling drawn to at all or do i heed my heart and follow my fascinations instead?