painting of trees with exposed roots
Watercolor and Colored Pencil 20” x 30

When I was sixteen, I was determined to go to art school. I got it into my head it had to be Rhode Island School of Design. It was quite a process convincing my parents this was a good idea then figuring out how to make it happen. It felt like I risked everything, challenging family assumptions about what I was supposed to do.

I was not prepared for the criticism once I got there. Having fought so hard I didn’t dare admit it wasn’t quite what I hoped for.

When Things Aren’t What You Expect

I was young. I didn’t know how to navigate the complexity I was facing. Looking back I needed emotional support, and didn’t know healthy ways to get it. Even more problematic was I didn’t know the right people to get it from. Let’s just say many of my experiments weren’t very successful.

Working with the Roots We’ve Got

I was doing something my parents had no experience with. I was trying to figure out how the world worked in a place that was totally unfamiliar. Even though it was not far from where I grew up, it was light years from anything I knew.

In confusion, I worked with what I had. Reached down into the tangle of my past and tried to use what I found.


This is just one of the pieces that will be shown at the Washington County Open Studio tour. October 19 and 20. 11AM – 5PM. I’d love to see you at 6443 NE Brighton St Hillsboro OR 97124.

Recommended Posts

3 Comments

  1. Maybe what we want is what we need…but in our search we only find an approximation of it. Or – what we find gave the appearance of being what we needed, because perhaps we weren’t able to fully evaluate it until we got it. So then what do we do? What do we learn? How do we move forward. Great post and great watercolor.

    • It is complicated, isn’t it. What I need for growth is certainly not the same as what I need for comfortable life that just plugs along!


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.