I love and am obsessed with art and creating. I achieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts and then worked in a studio that put out stunning trompe l’oeil art. When my first baby was close to arriving I decided to quit my job and put art to the side to take on a new endeavor, raising children. Like any mother I love my babies (I have three so far age 6, 4, and almost 2), and they are among my greatest joys. I treasure my time with them, I know childhood is fleeting and I don’t want to miss a bit of it. That being said, I would often feel restless within my self because of an urge to make art that I could not seem to fit in-between reading stories and wiping noses. I had tried to paint many times but for me to get the right amount of focus I need big blocks of time which I simply did not have. Even though I was doing what I had chosen I would easily get grumpy or feel sad. This was extremely unlike me. I have a naturally exuberant and happy personality. Then something happened: I was playing play-doh with the kids one day, mixing colors. I adore color, vibrant, deep, subtle all of it. I made a “dot”… I looked at it for a minute, wheels turning, and realized this could be a way to make real, beautiful art, not just silly kids craft art, while playing with my children at the same time. I could do it in small intervals when ever it fit into my children and my schedule.
First I had to make sure it would work. I spent the next couple weeks figuring out the best was to dry the pieces. Covered… too slow, dehydrator… too fast I also found that humidity made a huge difference so depending on the weather I have to adjust how I dry them. I built a small frame and made a mini prototype with a gorgeous glossy fill. It worked and looked so interesting I knew it had potential and that I had to do it. Now I’m giggling to myself while I race around the house getting my mundane house work done so that we can get in lots of fun play-doh time.
This first piece I started in the beginning of June 2012. It is 75 in x 48in. I love making the dots, how each one is like its own little, beautiful composition. The size makes me think of delightful little candies. I love putting it together, it’s like an enormous puzzle I can rearrange, and I love to just stare at it now that it is almost complete. It is fun to look at far away to appreciate the picturesque scene; it is fun to look at close to appreciate each individual piece. I tell the kids that they have their toys and this is mommy’s toy.
Sometimes I feel a little discouraged. What if I spent all this time and effort and no one likes this kind of art. I identify with it so completely, both the creating of it and the finished product. If no one else did, I admit it would feel a little defeating- but really what is the worst that can happen? I have fun making art with my children and if no one wants to buy it I have art that I love for my own home. I guess when I look at it that way it is a win-win.
I want my art to touch people. One woman reminded me that it can. Years after I did a mural for a hospital children’s waiting room in Marin County a woman wrote me saying how much it meant to have something beautiful to look at while she was there with her sick, scared daughter. It’s amazing how much art can do after it’s set free in the world.
Some little neighborhood friends recently came over to play. They looked at the dots longingly and asked if they were candy. I don’t blame them I want to eat them myself sometimes.