Aug 17, 2011

I recently returned from an almost indescribable experience traveling in Alaska. Each way that I try to communicate how Alaska affected me turns up short and often into clichés — “once in a lifetime” comes to mind frequently. But, it was exactly that. It was an amazing, soul-enriching adventure for which I am so grateful that I was able to experience. I met genuinely kind people, tested my bravery and courage, overcame fears, explored and played in the wilderness, and struck out on my own while forming friendships — and, oh man, I had FUN! Not just your typical summer vacation! To that end, I’m hoping to carve out some time this fall to paint some of the Alaskan scenes that have been inscribed on my heart. I hope the process will help me to convey my love for a place, the people, and experience.

Andrea in front of Exit Glacier

a self-portrait I took while standing in front of the glacier I hiked

April 9, 2011

What is the opposite of writer’s block? The closest way I could describe that feeling of an everlasting flow of ideas would be that you would feel inspired. A couple of months ago I started writing again so that I could put my thoughts down. It seems that it has triggered a flow of creativity that used to come so naturally to me as a child and I didn’t even realize I was missing until I found it again.

When I was little, my bedroom had the most wonderfully hideous wallpaper ever created. I remember that I picked my bedroom BECAUSE of the wallpaper. Whether my parents indulged my love for pink flowers separated by horizontal banners of twisted yellow ribbon because they knew it made me happy, or they were just exhausted from raising two young children and could not afford to spend the time, energy, and money de-papering and re-painting a room . . . we will never know. In any case, I did love that wallpaper. And in my defense, I was five when I picked that room. Most days I sat on my bed in the middle of the pink and yellow room with my lined spiral notebook propped up again my legs (and later on a lap desk/easel), a pencil, and my thoughts.

I created stories. I would tell the stories aloud to myself as I drew illustration after illustration. I filled notebooks. Many, many notebooks. Back to back pages of drawings of people on blue lines. Closets full of notebooks. Eventually, just like I outgrew playing with Barbies, social awareness kicked in and I realized, grown-ups don’t tell stories to themselves out loud when they are alone. I couldn’t prove my theory of course (if a grown-up talks to herself when she’s alone and there’s no one around to hear it, does she make a sound?), but I was pretty sure that it just was not what normal people did. Sure enough, I also stopped thinking those stories for a long time.

So, I’ve recently started creating again and I thought that maybe I would share some of my artwork with you. My medium is a little different now (haven’t produced much in the way of blue-lined spiral notebook paper recently), but I hope the story is the same.


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