Ann-Marie L.

The thread of my life has been patience and perseverance in the face of many obstacles and adversity. Raised without expectations, like my parents before me, I struggled to define and understand myself without support or guidance.  I inherited a legacy of family depression, profound grief and unrealized dreams.  I am proud of my ability to push through difficult circumstances, to fight for what I believe in, and my resilience.  My childhood love of drawing provided me with a constant companion and focus in my life.  I studied painting and became a studio art teacher.  At thirty-two I had my first child, and her medical needs made it necessary for me to stay home full time.  Despite this shift from professional to care giver, I have spent years developing my artistic skills and exploring different media.  Decorative paper and book making helped me create a daily and dedicated practice.  My interests expanded to monotype printmaking and in the last five years, fabric dyeing and surface design.

Although I sketch and can plan ahead in my work, I feel very confined by preconceived ideas or rigid plans. I rely instead on experimentation and serendipity in the studio. I try to have a free flowing dialogue and unrestrained relationship with the materials I use at any given time.  Presently, I am dyeing my used tea bags:  I manipulate the bags by folding or binding using ancient Japanese techniques, and also use soy wax batik as a resist.  I carefully study and arrange the bags and decide what they might become.  Sometimes I do see art work “finished” in my mind as if I have already made it.

Art making provides solace and peace and gives form to my experiences.  It is a meditation on life and a process which allows me to be completely within or outside of myself. I strive toward independence and developing trust in myself.  With these goals I can find my voice as an artist.  This is my journey.  It’s who I am and what is represented in my work.