Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Here in Florida, we are bracing for tropical storm/hurricane Fay. Back in Georgia many years ago, I had a neighbor named Miss Fay. She was in her eighties. She was a retired school teacher who never married. She spent all her time tending her garden. When we first moved in, she didn't like me much. My dogs got out and raided her trash one day...and even after a million apologies, we were off to a bad start. I'd always wave at her, and she'd never wave back. After my daughter was born...she had a change of heart. I think she saw me caring for my 84 year old father while I was pregnant...and figured I must be okay. We later became very good friends, as she was enamored by my children. In her final days , overpowered with cancer and medicine for pain, she was oblivious to those physically around her...but spent her last days doing what she loved...teaching. I will never forget her frail body laying in the hospital bed, overshadowed by her smile and mumbled words as she taught her children. In my reality, I couldn't see these children, but she she transcended into the non-physical world doing what she loved to do.

To this day, I am still in awe of Fay's spirit and passion. I could only hope that my journey out of this world is filled with what I love to do...making art. It is something that I can't live without. For so many years, I kept this passion to myself. Yes, I shared the artwork with clients, but I never shared the passion behind the art. It was something that I thought was so private and personal, that no one would understand. I was asked to teach...but I refused...because I couldn't do things "by a book". It was much more emotional experience for me. So for years, I rejected even the thought of teaching. Then one day at my studio, one of my best friends, came over for a day of art play. We both made our own mixed media paintings, as I shared with her techniques and ideas off the top of my head. She left with a finished painting, and I was left with a since of failure. I thought I had let her down...I should have showed her how to do things more predictably and by the book. She later told me that was what made me a great teacher. She loved her painting, and learned much more than she ever expected. I love her for that. She changed my life.

I now understand Miss Fay's love and passion for teaching. Today, I spent most of the morning reworking my classes on the website. I added an exciting new class called "The Secret Art of Creating", and opened new dates for previously filled classes. I've learned the energy and love that is created by sharing your passion is multiplied over and over. It leaves me feeling fulfilled and complete as an artist. It is a magical feeling. I am in such gratitude to my friend, my students and especially Miss Fay. Thank you all.

But, now as tropical storm/hurricane Fay looms toward my little Florida island...I can't help but wonder if Miss Fay is somehow getting me back for the dogs in her trash.

Much love and gratitude to you,


PS. You can see the updated classes here. Pin It