Before I owned a computer, a paint brush or a camera; I had a spectacular imagination. For a number of years I lived in a Southeast African country called Mozambique. Boarded by the Indian Ocean, Mozambique is known for its vibrant blue, seas, power-white beaches and wildlife safaris. Mozambique is also known for its history of devastating violence, stagnation, poverty, and death. I lived in two worlds. One filled with adventure an American children could only dream of. The other world was much darker.
My parents work as missionaries occupied much of their time during the day time. I was left with a group of older children. The language barrier made it difficult for me to communicate, and to find similarities. As a result, I played alone a great deal of the time. Play time allowed me to discover artistic expression and creativity. I was a baker. I made cakes out of water and sand. Topped with Ruby, red flowers found along the boards of my home. I was a builder. I made sand castles miles high, where a princess waiting to be rescued. I became something more than a shy, blond-haired-green eyed stranger. I was a creator. Artistic expression made me feel empowered. It was a way for me to channel the confusion, loneliness and fear I felt on a daily basis.
When a returned to the United States at age 7, I became fond of art classes. My grandmother would take me to the store to select the items for my craft of the week. I drew, painted, sculpted, and baked. As the years passed, I continued to develop my artistic skills.
Today, I love to watch children play. I enjoy helping each child find their unique expression the area of art. Art as a child brought freedom; a freedom I experience to this day.