I'd like to share a story with you about how I learned to live creatively. It begins with my Gran, Camilla, who passed away a few weeks ago. I loved her deeply and without judgement. Her death fills me with sadness and aching loss. This is the risk of loving - the pain of losing. Brene Brown puts it so eloquently: “To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain.”
It is with profound gratitude that I acknowledge that my Gran taught me to 'see' the natural world with the eyes of an artist. When I was a child we would tramp the clifftop paths of Hermanus together, in the Western Cape of South Africa, studying the minutae and the grandeur of the shorefront. She taught me to breathe deeply the fresh, salty air, to be still and to fill my senses with the sounds, textures, shapes and colours of all that surrounded us. Gran taught me that to live my life fully I need to connect deeply with nature and respond to my impulse to create. She showed me how to use my hands to make, to create things of beauty from the simplest materials - leaves and berries, shells, twine. I learned that beauty can emerge in unexpected places to transform us and the objects themselves.
I said goodbye to my beloved Gran with words of love and thankfulness and as I lean into the sadness and loss now, I experience grace, joy and a renewed commitment to create art that offers you stillness and hope.