Recently hung my two degrees in my studio, two of my greatest accomplishments. Don't be afraid to go after your dreams, no matter what obstacles or difficulties you may face, it IS worth it in the end, I'm proof positive!! Read my story below of achieving a lifelong dream in spite of life having other plans for me 😊😊
I was bound and determined to go to college, even coming from the Bush of Alaska, in a remote village with a school that never boasted more than 15 kids at a time, all grade levels. I did whatever it took to make my dream a reality, and at 17 I booked a flight to Hawaii to go to my chosen school that I had been accepted too.
A few years later I moved to Florida and continued going to college, when I unexpectedly became pregnant at 20, I dropped out of school and went back to Alaska to be surrounded by all my loving, supportive family, who have always been there unconditionally, whenever I need them, no matter what. But, I NEVER gave up on knowing I would be returning to finish my education. So, while I was in Alaska I got a full-time job, applied and was accepted to attend The University of Central Florida (my Alma Mater), and within a month of my daughter being born I was on a plane back to Florida to go to school the following semester. I had a lot of people tell me, even to my face, that because I was so young, and a single mom I would never go back to school. That simply made me even more determined to prove them wrong, and I did!
It wasn't easy by any means, being 21, a single mom to a newborn and going to college full-time, but I had saved a lot of money while being pregnant and working, took out student loans and busted my butt!
When my daughter was about a year old her father and I got back together and I was then faced with an entirely new set of difficulties to deal with. My (eventual) husband had a 4.5 year old son who lived with him (who was an extreme, and I do mean extreme, handful), so all of a sudden my family of two just grew to 4 and I had to adapt to all of this while still going to school. And I would not only be taking care of both kids, mostly on my own, a full time cook, housekeeper and help my husband with his business, but I also held down 2 jobs, while eventually going to school at night for my Masters degree.
I look back and seriously wonder how I was able to manage this and STILL get my Bachelors and Masters degrees in Political Science. But, you know what? It just goes to show that if you want something badly enough and set your mind to it, no matter what, you CAN achieve your dreams and goals. Don't ever, ever give up on what's important to you, if you have the will, desire and passion inside you for something, you have everything you need to make it happen. Go out and follow your dreams and make them a reality!!
(Oh, and I got these degrees in the late 90's but still feel proud to display them as they represent dreams that came true and fierce determination to fight through the difficulties and never give up).
A beautiful symbolic painting encouraging us to never give up faith and have the strength to carry through the tough times. Life isn't always the easiest, but if we have strength, love and faith we can get through anything. Don't ever give up believing that better things are waiting for you just around the corner, always strive to live "Your Best Life", day in and day out.
When life throws curve balls, we have to rely on our inner strength, faith and love for ourselves and from those around us. Stay Strong and Hold Fast to all the positives in your life, they will help you overcome anything. I hope this painting will inspire you to believe in yourself and love yourself as a shining beacon of strength and love to others.
I've been wanting to get more serious about offering handpainted purses for a couple years now, and have painted a few for myself, and finally got around to creating several to offer for sale!
These first few are just random purses I've found at stores that I thought would make a great canvas for painting on. I am going to be offering more custom MADART purses that have been painted on. I am in the process of ordering sample purses that will be exclusive to MADART, with branding, packaging, etc. , this is going to be an actual fashion line of purses that I will be handpainting. I will also eventually be offering printed purses at lower prices that will have my original designs and only be available directly through this site, most of which will also be limited edition designs. Pricing is also subject to change once the new custom purses are introduced.
Lot's of different ideas swirling around in my head where to go with this! I've always loved fashion, as far back as I can remember, even wanted to be a model in my younger days (funny enough my daughter is now a model :). I think this will be the perfect marriage of my love of fashion and my passion for art. this will also give women the opportunity to have a truly custom purse to take with them everywhere they go, what better way to show your appreciation for art than to get to wear it!
I will also not be using any leather purses, these will all be PU "leather" type products (synthetic). I'm working on being more aware of not using animal products in my life, and these purses are a great way to stand up for animal rights.
Stay tuned for more painted purses coming soon!! You can see the current available purses here.
Life is a never ending cycle of change and growth, and I'm currently going through a lot of that right now! But, it's all for the good of my health and soul and working on living My Best Life.
I have a new, beautiful studio in Miami Beach to enjoy for a little while, who knows when I might move next :) And I finally broke it in with a big, beautiful commissioned recreation of my painting "Aqua Burn". Nothing better than putting paint on canvas...myself and the floor, it means the studio is officially broken in! The painting was created on a fabulous 60"x48" stretched Genie Canvas, the ONLY canvas I paint my oversized paintings on.
Here are some work in progress pics and a quick little time lapse video of the painting process, after almost 3 months of minimal creativity it feels so good to get back to doing what I love!
The past few months have been a roller coaster of change and emotional and spiritual growth, both as a person and an artist. The first part of June my husband and I sold our home of two years, which was the plan from the beginning, we purchased the home in 2015 as a flip, and took advantage of the real estate boom that occurred this past spring.
But, along with the sale of the home, I also came to the realization that I could no longer continue the life I had been living. I had been married for 21 years, and known my husband for 25, he is the father of my precious daughter Aroon (23 yrs). But, what I learned throughout those 25 years, and still coming to grips with and trying to grow from the experience, is that we shouldn't put another above our own needs and wants all the time. As a very empathetic, sensitive person, this is hard for me not to do. I was put in the position of doing this over and over again, and it never changed. Anytime I wanted to do something I liked or that would fulfill me, no matter how minor it was, I was in an emotional and mental battle with my "partner", and it took all of my strength and perseverance to fight for what I wanted, and in the case of my art needed to do. But, far too often I would give in and be left with an empty feeling within, and eventually became exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically.
My art is my passion, it is a huge part of who I am, it comes from the deepest parts of my soul and I don't feel complete without it. For many years I wasn't "allowed" to create art, but rather "expected" to work for my spouse, and anytime art was mentioned, it was a very sore subject. But, I never gave up, and when we finally moved to Alaska in 2007 I was able to fulfill my dream of working full-time as an artist, but only because my spouse was no longer working. But, even since then, my art, and anything I wanted or needed, far too often took a back seat to other things in our life together, things that were inconsequential, but became more important than me and my art, simply because "I" was not important enough to my partner. Even though I was the main breadwinner in the family for the past 10 years, even that wasn't enough. And I realized it wouldn't have mattered what it was, anything that was important to ME, became of the utmost unimportance in the relationship. But, it was especially difficult for me as an artist because that isn't just important to me, it's a huge part of WHO I am.
I've always been a strong, independent woman, but I loved too deeply, and when that love was used against me and my empath self, I became someone who I am not. I lost myself in a relationship for over 20 years, a relationship that broke my heart and stole a part of my soul. I realized I could no longer live a truthful, fulfilled life in that relationship, and I'm now taking the time to rediscover myself, get back to who I truly was, and am, and have always been, without fear and pressure to be someone I'm not. I'm going to dive head first into my art and find healing and comfort in knowing that I can create beautiful art to share with all of you. It's going to be a difficult journey, but one I am embracing and going to grow through.
Leaving my husband is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but it had to be done in order to save my self from a lifetime of sadness and loneliness and the inability to be my true self. I'm baring my soul to find peace and heal so I can create art that truly comes from the soul and also provide inspiration and motivation to others to never give up on themselves. I hope my story will inspire all of you to never give up on yourself and your dreams. ALWAYS fight for what you believe in, what fulfills and drives you, and if you have to keep fighting against one person, they are not meant to be in your life. The people who you surround yourself with should be supportive, loving and understanding of what is important to you, and be willing to give you the space and love for you to achieve happiness and growth within yourself, and in turn it will make your relationship that much stronger and fulfilling for both sides. YOUR life should NEVER be all about someone else; your partner should be just that, a partner, an equal where both sides give and take equally of each other when the need is there, it should never be a one sided giving relationship, that is simply unsustainable and harmful to your very soul.
I'm not writing this asking for sympathy or pity, but I wanted to share a part of my life I've never talked about before, but one that has had and will have a huge impact on me, and in turn my art. It has now become an integral part of my life and my journey as an artist. I'm still trying to figure out why this happened to me and what lessons I can learn from it, and how to make it be a positive life experience to grow and change from. I hope I can inspire others to learn from their own difficult life experiences and know that we can get out of situations that are not beneficial to us, it may not be easy, but you CAN find the strength to save your soul and move on to bigger and better things in life.
I hope you will follow my journey as a I rediscover myself as a person and an artist and find growth and peace within myself and reflect that in my art. I'm on a mission to "Live my Best Life" from here on out and never settle for anything less, ever again.