Home! It means different things to different people. In all my travels around the world there was always the idea of HOME in Bedford, VA. when I left Bedford 40 year ago, like many young people then, I could not wait to get away could never dreamed of any reasons to return.
A lot changes in 40 years.
I traveled the U.S and parts of Europe as a classically trained professional singer. I rubbed elbows with well to do people. I learned to speak proper English. I learned to eat fancy food and to wear really expensive clothing and even to be comfortable in it. I confess, even as a child my sisters alway thought me a bit of a snob and elitist and I enjoyed the world outside of Bedford.
As I aged out of my professional career as a singer, I began to look at other creative endeavors to fill my life and produce an income stream as well. I worked for a number years building a career as a Fine Artist working in oil pastels and oil painting. And then I discovered the world of Quilting.
In all fairness I must say I returned to the world of quilting. My Mom had been a quilter most of her later life, She would spend hours in her basement sitting beside a hanging quilt rack hand stitching quilts she had pieced from old scraps of fabric. That was the world of quilting I knew. But then i discovered the work of ART QUILTS and my life changed. One of the things I was unhappy with in my oil paintings was that there was no chance for a tactile exchange and discovery between the viewer and the artwork. “Don’t Touch” is everywhere they are displayed.
But I WANT my artwork to entice people to touch it, to follow the seams, to explore the landscape or the image in front of them. See how the thread is layered like paint for blending and for effect.
So, now I have returned to Bedford. I am in the process of opening a private Studio/Gallery to continue to create my artwork and to finish quilts for others with my long arm machine and FMQ. What is most interesting to me is that my love of Bedford has grown 1000 times. I love the people. I love the landscape. I love the big skies. I love the weather. I can spend the rest of my life just creating works of art that celebrate Virginia, Bedford, and the Blue Ridge Mountains and I will never run out of subject matter.
Like this Wall hanging I have almost completed of Dogwoods — The State Tree of Virginia.