(To read my survivor story click here)
I didn't pick up a paintbrush until I was 40.
Before then I didn't have any positive experiences with art growing up, so for years I held the story that I just wasn't any good at art.
As a child I wasn't encouraged to express myself creatively in any way, but somewhere in the midst of surviving a traumatic childhood, I fell in love with writing and learned to paint pictures with words.
For years, I found comfort in writing.
If you had told me I would be painting, teaching healing art classes and selling my paintings later in life, I might have thought you were just a bit loony.
I never knew that within me was an artist waiting to be born, but it was the best unexpected surprise a girl could have.
It all started in 2010 when I took my first art related class. It was a healing art class. Here was this woman telling me that I too was an artist, that I could make pretty faces and she was going to show me how.
Instead of scoffing at the idea, I sat in awe and believed just enough to begin. I found a desire to create pretty things, to paint pretty pictures and to create beauty in some way.
I never looked back. I was hooked.
Hooked on color.
Hooked on paints and how they moved.
Hooked on all the supplies a girl could play with.
Hooked on drawing and painting faces with funky hair colors and soulful eyes.
Hooked on seeing pieces of me I never knew existed.
Hooked on the feeling of losing myself on the page in a way I never had before.
For the first couple of years, I watched many Youtube videos and for a period of time, took a couple of classes with some very talented teachers.
At some point, I stopped taking online classes and started to focus on developing myself as an artist and finding my own style.
I have definitely been influenced by some amazing artists, but by the third year, my art started becoming recognizable as mine.
I remember in those early years longing for that to happen, wanting to finally get good at combining colors, wanting my faces to look like mine or to just look like faces for that matter. But I had to learn to walk before I could run.
In time, time painting and experimenting, I started to find myself as an artist.
I spent a lot of time finding my own voice and style. I think in many ways I am still finding myself in every piece I paint.
It's a beautiful thing.
Currently, I just love mixed media, I love playing with a variety of mediums and supplies. I love bold and funky colors.
Faces are my first love in art, but I also love to create abstracts.
I rarely have a plan.
My mantra is always, "let's see what happens".
I truly trust the intuitive process and know that when I am painting, something is moving through me and it always amazes me.
Art journaling is my go to when I am working on my own healing and processing something I need to work through. Since I started, I have taught several art healing classes. I had no idea when I started that I would have this love affair and deep intimate journey with art, let alone facilitate the healing of others through art.
It continues to be an honor and most of my classes have some art journaling or other creative component.
I believe strongly in the power of creativity to heal.
I also believe that we are all artists.
I am living proof.
No experience, couldn't draw to save my life, could only draw stick figures...and here I am painting pieces of art that I love and that have resonated with others as well.
There is an artist within all of us, just waiting to be born.