I love these moments when I am awe struck with how my life has turned out. This wasn't my plan (not that I had one) and yet somehow it was “the plan”. My life is a far cry from where it was. Every morning when I get up I am filled with gratitude. I realize my life could've easily gone in a different direction.
I left home at 16. I went to summer school and night school so I could graduate high school early. In the afternoons I worked in a coffee shop. I had no interest in college. In my
early 20’s I was divorced, a single mom and worked at a grocery store. During the day I was a checker and two nights a week I worked the graveyard shift, stocking shelves. Most weeks I was sleep deprived and exhausted. Life wasn't easy…but I was grateful to have a job that paid my bills, a roof over our heads, food and health insurance.
|16 years old|
….and then my world got turned upside down. The store I was working at was set to go out on strike. I knew I couldn't outlast it. There is no way I could survive and support my children without a steady income. I was so afraid. Then early one morning I got a call. It was my Dad. I had to make some hard choices. I made decisions that changed my life. Was I scared? You bet ya!
I moved from Ventura to Pasadena, started a new job and began a new life. I found out…Life began at the end of my comfort zone. I met the man of my life, Mike. Within five months we were married. Two years later I rediscovered my love of art. I took all the art classes I could at Pasadena Community College, joined art associations, attended watercolor workshops, painted, painted, painted, entered shows, took awards…and requests to teach started coming in. Within a short time I had two books on watercolor published.
|Painting in Provence|
I teach in ways I wish others would've taught me. I teach with my head, heart and hands. I think creative people learn differently. We see and interpret information differently, which means we also absorb information different too. Coming from the school of hard knocks I teach with a lot of compassion. It comes from being there: feeling vulnerable, inadequate, under educated…I realize we all come from different places in life and we bring that to the classroom. I walk into every workshop feeling entrusted and blessed with the opportunity.
Here’s a little peek into my two workshops last month in Provence.
If the videos don't load click on the link to Week #1 or Week #2 below
What's up next? Spain 2017!