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GIVEN

I've always known.

As long as I can remember.


As the oldest of five girls, chaos was normalcy.

Life was vibrant. Loud. Never boring.

I was swimming in a sea of estrogen.

One big dramatic slumber party.


Looking back now, through the fuzzy waves, I can see little me,

completely zoned in for hours filling up my coloring books

and designing clothes with Barbie paper dolls and fashion plates.

Content.

In my own head, in my own world.

I had full say so over the colors I chose

and didn't have to share or compromise with anyone.

At a young age I was identifying color combinations that made me happy

and repeating ,comparing and changing them.

I was making my ME time, my down time, centering myself.

I was not told to do this. I just naturally craved it and did it as often as I could.

In the mid 1980's, in South Louisiana, mental health,

especially concerning children, was not a common subject.

I had loving parents, a house full of siblings, and a gigantic Cajun family.. we were all ok.


I loved gifting art.

In school all my classmates had their names brightly drawn by me on display at their desks.

One summer everyone I knew got colorful portraits of themselves on paper plates.

There's a newspaper clipping of me in a formal art class around age five,

so I know my folks did their best to facilitate my hobby,

several murals appeared in their house over the years,

but my training was sparse.

Art was only offered in high school, so I took all the classes I could,

my favorite was developing photographs in a dark room and

screen printing a T-shirt that I may still have!

I painted most of the school dance backdrops.

The jewelry making began then, as well.

I made whatever art I could, whenever, wherever.


One of my most vivid memories

is walking from St. Cecilia School down the sidewalk to a grand old house

on Main Street in Broussard when I was about 7 years old.

A beautiful older woman answered the door and welcomed the entire class inside her home.

I remember being struck by her presence and became very quiet

despite the extreme excitement of being off campus with all my friends.

I listened intently to everything she said.

She was the most interesting woman I had ever met!

Every inch of her walls were covered with paintings.

Two stories full!

I had never been in a space like it before, or ever since.

It was heavenly.

I think I froze in awe.

I'll never forget looking around and knowing :

THIS IS IT. THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO WHEN I GROW UP.


The magic of art has been presenting itself to me my entire life.

I'm so fortunate to have been a kid when you could only watch cartoons on Saturday morning.

We made our own fun. We entertained ourselves.

When I was full, I checked out and recharged by creating.

I was able to hear the soft whispers of my future calling

in the midst of all the wonderful chaos.

Art has always been a given,

there for the taking.












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