Why I NEED to make art…

I’ve always LOVED to make art.  Printmaking has been my passion since I first discovered it when I took it as an elective my first year of undergraduate school (my intended major was sculpture).  I was hooked.  After graduating U of the Arts I decided to apply for a graduate program in Printmaking at the University of Washington.  The year I applied only a handful were accepted and I was not one.  It was my intention to still move to Seattle and reapply.  I never did.

Instead I just started living my new life out here in this wonderful place.  I continued to make art, had some shows in Pioneer Square and worked at Daniel Smith (manufacturer of the printmaking inks I used all through college).

Jump forward many years… now I’m married to a wonderful man who I met while I tried my hand at racing motorcycles.  Didn’t fare well racing but it did bring us together.  We have 11 year old twins.  My daughter Elly is typically developing and as most 11 year old girls do she drives me crazy (but that’s normal I think!).  She races motocross which makes my husband very happy as motorcycles are his passion.  She’s a special kid and I cry when I think of all that she has to bear witness to and miss out on due to the cards we were dealt.

Our son Trevor is loving, funny, sweet (a good amount of the time), intelligent and PROFOUNDLY autistic.  Living with someone on the autism spectrum is exhausting.  Trevor can be very aggressive when autism digs it’s claws into him.  At 120 lbs and the same height as me this can be scary, challenging and draining.  I always have to be ON, paying attention to everything.  He doesn’t like change so I can’t just hang up a new piece of artwork in the house without working with him on accepting it (otherwise he will just rip it off the wall and throw it).   He imitates shows he likes (I’ve been bitten HARD when he acts out cookie monster and karate chopped when he acts out Miss Piggy).  He’s made great progress since we started doing constant therapies when he was 15 months old but can never be left alone and can’t have just anyone watch him.

This is where my art comes in.  When I’m working on a new linocut or woodcut I get lost in it.  It takes me away from being a mom of an autistic child.  It makes me forget for a little while about my daily life and my uncertain future.  I need it.  It gets me up some mornings and helps me sleep better some nights.  The bonus is people enjoy it!  I’m proud and honored everytime someone purchases a piece of my art!

That’s why I NEED to make art.   And if no one ever purchased another piece I would still continue to make it, share it and love it (only I’d need Scott to build a shed out back to store it all!)

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One Response to “Why I NEED to make art…”

  1. Nicole Merkens Says:

    I love you Leslie!

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