Creating Art Around Life

Why do I make big efforts in creating art around life?  

I create art around my life for two reasons. I don’t want to give up family life so I can make art, so I’ve learned to create meaningful art around life. I used to think I’d never to an artist because I thought I meant giving up everything else. It simply isn’t so.

I create because I was purposefully created by a transcendent Creator. This is foundational in my life and it informs my value and pursuits.

Deciphering the value I give the world in exchange for the gift of my time on earth is my value proposition.  It’s a term I learned in almost 7 years of owning a brick and mortar business.

My values are expressed by my activity in the studio. 

highschool years

I abandoned any thoughts of an art career after showing my accurate and colourful watercolour of my viola to my high school art teacher, Mr. Sanderson. Dutifully, I’m sure, he advised that the realism I loved was no longer relevant in 1973. 

Also, my loving and terribly practical parents urged sensibility, too. So, I earned a science degree at University. Therefore it seems that I valued the advice of my parents and teachers.

Marriage, work and Motherhood values

After university, I worked in hospital surgery, a chemistry laboratory, and did a stint in industrial real estate out in California after I married. I valued use my science training in a career. In the end I decided I was not a scientist.

As a stay-at-home mum, I pursued art again with a vengeance.  Between diaper changes and chasing babies, I launched a fledgling art portraiture business, creating colourful and accurate coloured pencil portraits. I valued pursuing what I really wanted in my heart.  

Then, life happened. So, I moved with my young children back to Kansas to be near my parents.

solo parenting years

As a solo mother, working days as an assistant project manager(that’s what it’s called in New Zealand, in the USA they called me an assistant project engineer) at a construction company, I set up an easel in my bedroom to create art at night after my children were in bed. I valued creating no matter what.  

Thrilled with the developments on my easel, I initiated an arts ministry at church.  What a grand time.  We had two successful shows featuring several artists within the large congregation. I valued sharing creative joy with others.

I would have happily continued working these exhibitions, but then love intervened.

New Country, new Life

In 2001 I shifted with my kids to New Zealand to be with my new Kiwi husband, Bill. My aim was to blend our two families and pursue art full-time.  Well, almost full-time. We, renovated two homes, planned a big wedding, and made trips back and forth to the United States. Life happened! I valued pushing through to make art no matter what!

I managed to create two big solo exhibitions, and an exhibition with Anna Claire Thompson at Southland Museum and Art Gallery.  Anna and I also co-founded an active area wide visual arts group. Phew!! I learned to value time management.

Business Owner

Then I invested seven years of creative energy owning a picture framing and gallery business.  We closed it in 2019. I probably won’t fully recognise the values I learned for a few years.

Creating art around Life

My value proposition is this:  I’m back full-time into my arts practice. I’m able to share knowledge and wisdom gained from over 30 years of Creating Art Around Life in all of the richness a full and eventful one contains.

I have tenacity and a strong will to create. I’ve stuck in there for a long time, when it would have been easier, and arguably wiser, to simply give up.  But I didn’t and I won’t.  

I believe that our creative nature is a tremendous gift.  Nearly as precious as the gift of life.  

Click below to read and watch how i learned to create art around life during difficult times

Coloured pencil works
Young Mum years
Coloured pencil works
Early New Zealand years
No Regrets - Bill Richardson
No Regrets

2006 solo exhibition
Noble People Treasured Land
Anderson Park Art Gallery.

Handle with care
Handle with Care

2011 exhibition
Out of Hand
with Anna Claire Thompson

Bill at the Grille

Click the image to watch Part 4 of a time lapse video of me creating this latest work fresh off the easel.

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