My love for creativity was initially shaped by my mother, who always made time for arts and crafts. I took art classes in high school, but then regretfully set fine art aside for several years as I began a career as a Licensed Social Worker.
In the midst of my work in the substance abuse field, however, I enrolled in a 5-session watercolor class. I was hooked! Very quickly the visual arts became a therapeutic escape from the demands of Social Work Practice. Getting lost in an art project is a distraction that enables one to balance the stress of life situations that are beyond one’s control. I continue to find the process of creating art to be a “Sabbath” period from my current job responsibilities as Director of Human Resources at Friendship Community (since 2000).
Since that initial watercolor class, I’ve enjoyed working with a variety of other media as well, including acrylics, charcoal and oils. Then, several years ago I read an article about an artist who “gathered her canvases from trees,” and I just had to try painting on leaves myself.
Over 100 years ago, naturalists used leaves to record their sightings of insects and animals, because of their natural sturdiness. However, to prevent the deterioration that moisture and UV rays can cause, I treat my leaf “canvases” with an acrylic clear-coat before and after painting on them. This ensures that each unique work of art will last and may be enjoyed for decades.