Like many, I first had a crayon in my hand at the age of three. I first knew that something was a little different about my ability and passion for drawing at age 5 when I drew the mailman. Honestly, it was a funny picture. The mailman had a navy blue uniform, a funny hat and his ears and nose were slightly out of proportion. But even at that age, it was clear that I could visualize something in my mind and then create it.
A few years later, I started taking private art classes and remember being jealous of my instructor’s skill. My second instructor, Nancy Meyer, was a particularly brilliant illustrator. So much of my effort was focused was on the technical aspects and skill of drawing.
But, at age 15, something happened that really caused me to think a little deeper. I was a 10th grader at the time and had to draw something quickly for art class. In about 45 minutes, I rapidly recreated the very famous Albrecht Durer’s “Praying Hands.” I drew passionately, intensely and without my normal concern for technical precision. All I had was some white, coated cardboard, a black sharpie and a ball point pen, and yet still, it did not matter. It had to come out (and did).
I thought about this periodically after, and still continue to think about it. Where did intensity come from? Why were the praying hands so meaningful to me? Clearly, my inner being had chosen that image for a reason. It was not the religious side of the painting, it was tied to a much deeper need for spiritual absolution and expression.
I was born into a very Lutheran family with a very strong German lineage, and so I think the need for absolution is part of our inner being. But my experience through this was not just a deeper revelation of my Lutheran upbringing, it was more that I had a deeper, passionate being that demanded to express itself. At times, especially when I was younger, a fire raged within me.
Now, finally, at age 50, I am allowing this inner spirit to live more fully and being more honest and accessible by sharing with those around me. Not everyone knows this side of me, but I am slowly opening up.