This gives me an opportunity to thank my parents for the arts they exposed me to.
My earliest creative recollection is making peanut butter cookies, standing on a foot stool, in the kitchen of our first little house. I was probably 6. Anyone who doesn't think a peanut butter cookie is art has never had my mom's cookies.
A pivotal lesson in art happened on a little folding table in that same little kitchen. My mom was into ceramics then and she let me paint the telphone on a figure of a hip teenager. I was devastated when I went to bed because I couldn't stay in the lines and I had made a mess of the figure. The next morning, to my delight, mom had completely corrected all my mistakes. I learned that I couldn't ruin it and I was given the freedom to try.
We took piano lessons. I wish I could have been better but music just isn't my thing. I can't sing and, despite the lessons, can't read music. But I still know how to play the first 8 notes of the theme song to "The Sting". I'm a hit at parties.
My up-bringing was filled with one creative adventure after another: potholders, wood burning, oil paints, models, sewing, quilts, calligraphy, macramé, cross stitch, jewelry, cake decorating, flower arranging, doll houses, etc.
And my dad? Yes, he's an artist too. (Now he's laughing.) He instilled in me a love of literature. When I was in Junior High he handed me a novel bigger than all of the books I'd read stacked on top of each other: "The Stand". I was never the same. I LOVE READING! Stephen King, Tolkien, Jane Austen, Orson Scott Card, Asimov, C.S. Lewis. They inspire me.
For a few years now mom has been into fabric. She made drapes; now she makes quilts. I use to tell people my mother was a seamstress. I thought that was the highest compliment because she does it professionally versus, "She sews." Now I realize I should just say, "My mom is an artist."
Is there anyone you'd like to thank?