Why this is here.
Ask me to tell you a love story and I'll tell you the story of my grandmother and art.
Living now in the age of constant busy and distraction looking at her example shows the exemplary courage to continue learning being, loving and always creating.
After completing her degree in Art from Tulane University. My grandmother found there wasn't a great need for artists so in order to support herself she became a nurse to help the soldiers returning from the Second World War. This is where she met her husband, an Army Medic. They were married in Louisiana.
My grandmother, Lyle, along with her husband, Harold, moved across the country from Louisiana to Oregon with the first of what would be nine (9!) kids. She opened her home to community and embraced living in a new place, staying true to her traditions, and always made room in her life for art. While raising nine artistic and musical kids, she managed to make room to learn how to decorate wedding cakes, create calligraphy, watercolor and become accomplished in a variety of mediums and instruments. She was a ferocious woman, with a quick wit that never failed. She was always learning,- she learned how to play the guitar- from scratch - after she was sixty. Lyle was living proof that age does not limit what you can do.
She surrounded herself with art and community and family and everyone in the town knew they could rely on her. She painted and sewed clothing and coordinated and performed music for church events. She passed on an art legacy to each one of her nine children, who each can play an instrument- often multiple- and are all able to draw and paint and create.
In a single generation she built an entire tribe of creators and doers. She has nine children and over twenty four great-grand children and now even great-grandchildren. Her descendants all have the almost magical connection to translating the world through art. She always kept an open door, a jar of chocolates and a huge basket of crayons and colored pencils for whomever might come over- though finding a pencil sharpener was always difficult! They always disappeared...
When she died the community lost a bright light.
Why am I telling you about my courageous grandmother?
Because after her passing, I inherited her paints.
For a while it was difficult to even touch them or move a single brush from where she had left them. It was difficult to go through all of these precious tubes and brushes. I don't quite understand- out of all of her grandchildren and children- why I ended up with the great boon of hundreds of tubes of paint and reams of paper.
I hope by creating and building with her supplies I can continue her legacy of creating joy and beauty in the world. I hope Lyle would be happy today seeing her family continue to build and create and I hope to do my part.
After years of doing almost nothing with her supplies, I've recently poured her watercolors into a palette and am joining the 100 Days of Pattern challenge. It's a been a challenge to try to create everyday, but beautiful to see what's possible when we just keep at it.
But that's for another day! Until then, that's why I'm here!