Artistic Encouragement

I have very few photos of her and I don’t really need them, though it would truely be nice to have them. Old polaroids to hold on to I remember how much she meant to me.

That picture is from christmas 1981 and the uber chubby baby is me, all of about 10 weeks old, the size of those cheeks are amazing lol. The person holding me is the person I can credit with my love of art, design, fabric, drawing and more. That is my Grandma, Erna. She inspired me, taught me probably more than I realize and always had a big blue bowl with white roman reliefs (kind of like this one) full of M&Ms or hershey’s miniatures. Have I mentioned lemon pudding cups? A cupboard full of treats for visits. 

I went to (and crashed part of lol) a Copic certification class in my hometown on Friday and I had such a wonderful warm reception from Marianne then the students (which was unexpected to say the least as I expected to be all incognito) and one of the students asked me who encouraged me to get started? That always gets me thinking of my Grandma. She passed away when I was 14 or 15 after the longest battle with cancer of anyone I know of, (in a box I inherited was her patient card from the mayo clinic from the 70s) which was way too soon, she was only 72. 

She could do almost anything she put her mind to. She sewed all her own clothes, and was always dressed to the nines; made her own jewelry (some of which I wear now); she crewel embroidered these amazing tapestries that my grandpa would build frames for (he was a skilled woodworker), from symmetrical designs to elaborate portraits. She could draw beautifully and kept huge well manicured gardens around their home.

She was inspirational.

She was amazing.

I only got to see her once a month for a weekend when we would visit my dad on our visitation. He would play with the boys, lets say girls weren’t his thing, but I was happy to stay with grandma. She tried on more than one occasion to teach me to sew with her machine, I think I’m just not cut out for it lol. I’m still not great at anything beyond basic. She taught me to cross stitch and I do enjoy embroidery now. I remember in the 4th grade her and I practiced a whole weekend drawing the profile of a face in proportion. She got out graph paper and everything and showed me. I was geeked to show that off at school the next week and had a boy in class who paid me a dime to draw one for him lol. I would always bring her my drawings and share when we went to their house. She always made sure I had a pad of paper.

I had art teachers in school who were great encouragers of my talents but without my grandma, none of it would be the same. 

Have you had anyone who was your inspiration? Your encouragement?

  • Faye says:

    Oh this is a beautiful post. Got me thinking about my Nan’s, both amazingly strong women. xx

  • Rachel Parys says:

    It’s so nice to have encouragement like that when you’re little. When I was young, I was always too intimidated to participating in “artistic” type classes or projects. (always too afraid of what everyone else would think.) If I had only known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been afraid to try. My 9 year old nephew has shown some serious talent drawing fun sketches of different creatures you might see on a video game. The first time he shared them with me, I knew that it would be important for me to encourage and support his crazy-smart little mind! I have made my nephew and nieces their own “art journals”, and given them the tools they need to create some magic! (you are a product of your environment!) My own 7 year old has already spent countless hours with me in my craft room, that is time together that I will never forget. She has become a very special and giving person, because she sees the joy it brings to give people something from the heart.

  • Danni says:

    What a wonderful post, so touching! I don’t know who my inspiration would be, probably my great-grandma, she was my everything. 🙂

  • Christine says:

    What a sweet post. I love it. I just had a similar post about my Mom and how she’s inspired and motivated me on my creative endeavors.


  • Kellie says:

    What an absolutely moving post Kristy, thank you for sharing that little part of your life that meant a whole lot to you, xxx

  • Jess D says:

    My nanna and mum are my inspiration craft wise, my nanna was a commercial artist in the 70’s, drawing artwork for catalogues and advertisements and then she started making pottery, she still has a pottery wheel and kiln, and regularly creates cups, mugs, plates and bowls all with beautiful painted animals/flowers on them, she also paints canvases and is does amazingly realistic art. My mum loves to sew, make cards, scrapbook and is a general crafter, she can pick up any craft and be amazing at it in a very short time. These two women instilled a love of papers and art in me from a very young age… 🙂

  • Sandra says:

    Really enjoyed reading this post and getting to know you just a little better! I was very close to my grandmother as well and she truly inspired me artistically before I even knew it.. 😀

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