My earliest work

i have to admit that i am not a good historian, and did not keep the artifacts my young self made. But the earliest project i remember making was a chicken made from clay that was painted and low fired…. it was something only a mom would love… very little resemblance to the barnyard foul…. But i remember the look on my mom’s face. She cheered me on, seeing a young interest in art. And that ugly lump of clay sat on a bookshelf in the living room for decades. it was when i was closing up her house to sell that it may have wandered into the trash.

The earliest work i have photos of are my ukrainian easter eggs (also known as pysanky). The egg starts out white, and with a small stylus and hot beeswax lines are applied to keep the white color… then dye in yellow, add wax to preserve yellow, then orange, then red, then brown, then black. It is essentially batik, with layers of wax preserving the color beneath it. The last step is to warm the egg, and buff off the wax, creating a glossy shine. My first eggs were simple, like the black egg with white and red in the center… but as the years moved on i was fixated on improving my skills. Two years in a row i sold my eggs and made a nice profit. The designs became more elaborate, and the colors occasionally deviated to blues and greens. I actually kept doing these annually through the mid 1980s, then walked away from it. Two years ago i took up the task again, and even taught a few classes. its a wonderful skill to train your eye to hand function. And for kits it teaches a bit of math with dividing the surface of the egg in half, quarter, eighth…etc.

I guess i could parade the endless childhood projects – knitted scarves, crochet teddy bear, countless needlepoint and embroidery projects, sewing projects… but lets just stop there. I was blessed to have parents that wanted me to learn and grow in my artist exposure. Yes, there were lessons in sketching, watercolor, and acrylic and one clay class…. Life is an adventure, and art makes it just a bit more joyous.