Mom has just shared a very interesting "story" about some "forks" in the road of her creative journey.
It's fall here in the Pacific Northwest. Would like to report that I'm not fond of the "buckets of rain" days........
My Five Artistic “Angels”
Forks on Life’s Journey allow for hindsight to identify those life-changing moments that propel each of us to pursue “dreams” in an individual manner. Karen Sistek, acknowledged for her amazing silk painting style, her generosity in sharing all of her processes, and her ability to be a life- long friend is my Number 5 Angel.
Being attracted to all things that shine, twinkle, glitter or sparkle seemed to be a driving force throughout my life. At 19, I approached the first big fork in the journey— college is up against a rock musician. I married the musician! And with that choice, I had a mother-in-law that to this day influences my direction. Orchids – a vast wonderland of size, shape and color were plentiful in the greenhouses of Peg O’Neill. Known throughout the world, she sparked the orchid passion which inspires me to create orchids on silk.
Skip forward 7 years and Angel Number 2 appears when I pursue costume design. Obviously, still attracted to all that shines! With a diverse background in Costume Design and Theatre, David N. Velasquez enters my life at the University of New Mexico. Within months, a colleague of David’s, Deb Dryden, arrives as a guest designer to help with dyeing and painting of a large production, Candid. And that’s when the passion for dyeing and painting fabrics was born. My talents for design were nurtured with opportunities to work with an artist that taught and shared the passion that he had for costume design and theatre. A Velasquez costume rendering with fabric swatches embellishes a special place in my treasures of life.
Skip forward 5 more years when the passing of my mother-in-law projected me into orchids in a huge way. I wanted to carry on her legacy in the orchid world. At that moment, I knew it was now or never where orchids were concerned. During the next 12 years, my journey involved delving head first into orchids, their care, their differences, and being supported along the way by many. Dr. Joseph L. Walker stands out as Angel Number 3 for providing me the opportunity, resources, and travel adventures that led to not only creating magnificent orchid exhibits, but completing extensive requirements to be an accredited judge within the American Orchid Society. The experiences, knowledge, and “orchid personalities” influence my approach to always feature the exotic orchids.
Skip to 2011 when one of the biggest choices I had ever made seemed like the only choice. I had no idea that every day of my life would be blessed by “little angels” that sparkle, shine, and glitter bright! On that amazing August day, I loaded up the English bulldog, the pot belly pig, as many of my treasures as I could cram into a 16’ rental truck and headed west. West from New Mexico where the sunrises, the sunsets, turquoise skies, and silver which shine to Sqawk Mountain in Issaquah, Washington. Entering my daughter’s family was one of the greatest gifts a Grammie could be granted! Angel Number 4 arrived one week after I turned 21. Premature, this 5 lb. 2 oz. bundle of joy selected the “Clovis New Mexico” tour in May 1974 to be her birthday. Today, she along with her unique husband and my two grandsons are the core of my world. OK…………there’s an English Bulldog, a pot belly pig, two 70 pound dogs, 5 chickens and one frog that round out the household. Here in Washington is where the journey allowed for many passions to combine and form my artistic point of view.
One year ago, Angel Number 5, Karen Sistek expanded my “creative” abilities by providing the “Magic” I was missing. I was also missing three silk paintings of orchids that had been so special when purchased at a fair in the San Francisco area 20 years ago. I was confident in my elephant like memory. The artist was Sissi Sisik or a name similar. The internet provided numerous sites that were in some way connected to Sissi. No matter how I searched, I couldn’t find those silk orchid paintings in her artwork. Why? Because she wasn’t the artist after all! Frustrated, I was determined to find some silk painters in the Seattle area. And who should appear but Karen Sistek. The more I researched her and her work, the more I felt the need to figure out how to attend one of her classes………….that was two years ago. It took almost a year before the perfect opportunity presented itself. An overnight stay and a private lessons with Karen. I had no idea when I headed north to Port Angeles that I would head home with the technique that would allow my orchid art to become wearable art blending hand painted silks and luscious leathers. If you’ve had the “Karen Sistek” experience, you will understand exactly how warm and welcome she will make you feel. She will share her experiences, her adventures and guide your artistic instincts where silk is the focus.
That brings us up to the last year where the final Art Couture Design concept emerged. It started with that famous “Karen Sistek Magic”. Although I have used the serti-technique, I am disturbed by crooked lines, crooked pictures, and upside down orchid corsages. The thought of eliminating these lines and truly painting orchids on the silk was exciting. Karen’s highlight and shadow lesson while painting from a photo provided an additional way to interrupt. Of course, I loved the mounted silk, but it was in my artistic desire to create silk and leather jackets that were reversible, featured New Mexico influenced vistas, enchanting orchids and touches of silver colored conchos all becoming focal elements in each creation. With a lifestyle that does not provide huge blocks of time, I’ve learned how to create using the 10 Minute Technique. My mind and my art run along parallel paths. I have a mind that some would consider busy, always thinking, always designing, always changing with inspiration from the amazing world that surrounds me! As I walk down this silk pathway that shines, twinkles, glitters and sparkles!
Of course, one does not get to be my age without being grateful for ALL those that have come into my life in some capacity. Today’s gratitude goes to the 5 Artistic Angels!