The artist is a product of her environment. The person is a product of her surroundings and her need to be enveloped completely in every experience. The teacher is a product of great parents who made sure that as a child I followed the rules, I nutured a spiritual and creative life absent of prejudice and sadness.
I feel that now that I have matured to my middle years that my life experiences created the woman that I am. Many days, as a child, were spent in the outdoors. I had a favorite creek, many walks in the woods near my rural home. I watched my father as he created in his wood shop, as he cared for the garden, yard and flowers, as he signed his name in turquoise ink. His first name of “John” was signed so beautifully that I still attempt to sign my name “Jan” with the same elegance.
I have fond memories of watching my mother create quilts and care for the flowers. She enjoyed, just as I do, the warm breeze of summer, the sunlight and the way things grow.
When I married and moved to sunny Florida, I grew into the strong person that I am in my middle years. I watched and nutured the flora of my plants and flowers. I experienced the scent of the air and nature as I ran. The sun made me healthy. I spent twenty-six years in Florida teaching and guiding my son and daughter to enjoy nature to use the energy of the sun to grow. When we left Florida, I mourned for several years. Then I remembered that it all started for me in Pennsylvania.
Employment brought our family to Pennsylvania. To my husband and I we were able to adjust. Our children longed for warm weather, palm trees and lighter clothes. Our son and daughter are finding there way in the world in more temperate climates. My husband and I are coming full circle to what we knew.
For many years while in Florida, I remained connected to the art world although most of my time was spent raising children, running and career building. I struggled with my art making. I loved to Florida weather, but there was a disconnect. It was not until several years ago that I understood the reason. They say there are no mistakes in life; I was about to break through the barrier….