I inherited the artistic gene from my mom and her side of the family. I have been drawing, painting, stitching and creating for as long as I can remember. I spent a lot of my childhood and teen years designing and building miniature houses, drawing floor plans and even designing entire cities!
I remember learning needlepoint when I was 5 years old on a cross-country family trip back in 1967 and still enjoy spending time doing cross stitch projects. Also as a kid, I made wax candles on the stove, did Doodle Art, paint-by-numbers and everything else that was popular back in the 70’s.
In high school the main art class offered was drawing. I didn’t like it much because I was limited to drawing what the instructor wanted (bowl of fruit, candy wrapper, squirrel, etc), That didn’t inspire anything in me.
After my college years, I began taking stained glass classes and fell in love with it. I finally had the freedom to create my own designs, choose my own colors and add all the tiny details I love.
I have dabbled in watercolor painting which is difficult for me, as I am a perfectionist. I need defined borders, logic and details – the opposite of what watercolor painting is all about. But it still intrigues me because I just don’t understand how having just the impression of a scene is okay.
As an avid gardener and self-proclaimed country girl, one day back in 2005 in the garden shop, I saw gourd seeds for sale. I knew they would be fun to grow and experiment with, so when my crop at the end of the season numbered around 25, I figured I had better get creative.
I bought a book and inexpensive wood burner at the local hobby store and excitedly cut and burned and painted away. My first project wasn’t great, but it ignited a passion that continues to grow each day.
Eventually I happened upon a wonderful local lady by the name of Tricia who taught gourd classes and I eagerly took time off work to attend her classes. Boy oh boy, I couldn’t get enough. Since those few classes, I have studied books on techniques and practiced over and over.
Several of my gourd creations have been entered in the Nevada County Fair and Nevada County Harvest Fair. I have won dozens of ribbons including best of show. What a confidence booster that is!
I have learned several painting techniques, rim coiling using pine needles, dried reeds and yarn, and many carving techniques. My absolute favorite thing is to carve with my high speed power carving tools. There are so many more techniques I’m dying to learn and practice. So much to learn, so little time!
One of the main reasons I love working with gourds is that each one is different and allows me to create something unique with each one. Sometimes I get wild ideas in my head and have to go find the perfect gourd. Other times I start with the gourd and let it show me what it wants. I love trying to transfer the ideas in my head onto the gourds.
Now I spend all my free time working on gourds, designing, wood burning, painting and carving. I let my passion guide me. I am never more happy than when I am creating a beautiful work of art.
I sell my gourds because everyone needs a little extra happiness in their life!
My gourds are for sale at my Etsy shop. To visit my shop, click (here).