Putting Color into the World
People have often asked me what I do. But, I could not find a way to honor all of who I am with a short answer to that simple question. Until I realized that in absolutely everything I do I put color into the world.
I do not live a leisurely life that gives me time to independently create. I am a single mother of four kids each with special needs of one sort or another. I support my own household fully. I also provide for my children at their other household through child support to their father. I keep the kids health insured and get them everything they need and most of what they want in addition to what I already pay. This means that I keep a job with certain pay and benefits even if it isn’t my artistic calling because it is what is necessary for now. I work 12-16 hour days routinely. I seldom have a day off ~ weekends and Holidays included. But…
This job that I have is one that takes the vivid creations of others and brings them to life. Billboards for shows, art prints for studio and gallery, professional photography products, packaging, 3D creations and more. As the Worldwide Training Manager for the Graphics Arts Division of a Hi Tech company I design training for huge printing devices and presses that fill the first floor of my house. If they can think it, they can print it. And I make that possible.
I am also an artist. I am a published poet. I write creative non-fiction. I will publish a book later this year to benefit domestic violence survivors. I photograph when I can and my theater work has been featured on the front page of the newspaper and on billboards. I will produce and direct a documentary film that is beginning to take shape. And slowly, very slowly, I am constructing my memoir. I’m finally singing again (for those of you who remember this mainstay) and, in fact, feel like I might combust at times if I do not. Harmony mostly. Like the rest of my life. I dabble in watercolors and throwing clay is on my immediate short term bucket list. I am an artist who, by circumstance, does not have nearly enough time to fill the canvas but I am pure in my endeavor and I ‘wield the brush’ anyway.
Some artists create through others – directors, conductors – sending vibrant ripples of lovely out into the ether. For the past 20+ years I have been doing this as well by way of my four amazing children. I nurture every creative interest that they express. Sand castles, Legos and marble mazes. Late nights after long days to discuss the short story she wrote or to listen to hours of practice on an untuned instrument. Art camp and tree houses and figuring out shit that I don’t know how to do like firing up a table saw and not killing somebody in the process. Candlelight, 2am studies on math theory after an animated conversation with my son so that I can better appreciate what he creates in his world of interest that is outside my world of understanding. And trips to the CoinStar to cash in the last of what I have to buy things like a camera so she capture life as she sees it and share it with others.
Aidan is a sophomore in college and a theoretical mathematician.
Mackenzie is a senior in High School and a photographer/writer.
Caoilinn is a freshman in High School, plays the French horn and composes music.
Reilly is a freshman in High School, inhales books and ideas, and is a writer of short stories.
Whatever it takes.
And then there is just plain Lasher. God knows I’m not boring. In fact, I’m anti-boring. As I was preparing to write this blog I was sifting through photos and realized just how bright my light really is. My energy is different. I know this. People are drawn to me and terrified of me at the same time (which has led to years of therapy). When I meditate, I inhale blue (for clean) and exhale green (for creation). Recently a complete stranger stopped me to tell me that my energy feels purple...like infinity. It may have been true that day but I am also red when I model boudoir, orange when I crawl into traffic to get just the right shot, yellow when I skydive, green when I go white water rafting, blue when I slow dance with my partner wherever we may be, and indigo when…well…that’s not really for this audience.
What do I do? I put color into the world through my work, my art, my children and my being.
And I cannot wait, on the far end of 96 years, to plop myself down in an Adirondack chair with a cider wearing paint splotched overalls so I can see what a glorious mess I made.