Mary L.

I am the second born of nine children from the marriage of a bipolar professor/ want to be Jesuit priest and a WW2 Army nurse who valued family and motherhood above all in life. My father taught me compassion and the faith to question all in spirituality. My mother taught me compassion and the skills to construct my own unique garments for my wardrobe. Later in life, I took a quilting class and discovered the joy of piecing bits of various fabrics to form complex designs. I fell in love with the meditative process of machine quilting them. As I approached mid life, my world crumbled with the deaths of five family members within a two year period. My quilts became my way of expressing and processing the grief. I began an intense exploration of spirituality at this time. The two interests became intertwined and art quilts literally poured from my soul for years. I began showing my work and teaching others how to use visual journaling to heal from sorrow and grief. Learning to slow and wait for messages/images to unfold so I can create while being present in the now has been the greatest gift of my journey at this junction.

Creativity has always been a part of my life. I have studied and explored it in many ways including garment construction ,quilting, drawing, painting, fabric dying, knitting, beading, collage, and visual journaling. During a very difficult and emotional time in my life, I discovered art quilting as a contemplative way of expressing feelings through the use of color and texture. I found courage and peace as I opened to allow images of grief, joy and healing to unfold in my art work. It was when I began sharing my work with others and teaching, that I knew my work had become more prayer than art and that it was a way of encouraging others to share their life stories and heal.

Content

After several years of retreat and silence, my muse is knocking on my door once again. My work is about exposing raw emotions with bold colors and textures. Creating such work requires using tremendous emotional energy which I chose to diffuse in physical fitness endeavors lately. My soul is rested now and I am once again ready to explore my questions about why I was born into this world and how I can connect more deeply with others and the world around me.