I’ve been creating art for as long as I can remember. As a child, I scribbled, sketched and drew on countless drawing pads, loose paper and even onto the covers of my school books. Back then, we covered our books with brown craft paper to protect them since the books had to be turned in at the end of the school year. All that blank space called to something in me and, to this day, a blank piece of paper remains a siren call I can’t resist. From my earliest memories, my mother encouraged my creative interests. When I was six, she brought me over to our neighbor who was a potter and sculptor. While visiting him in his studio, he gave me some clay, encouraging me to make something with it. Then, as now, I was crazy about horses so I made a horse at rest. A couple of weeks later, he presented my finished “horse” to me. Like mothers all over, mine proudly displayed my “masterpiece” on a shelf for years. Throughout my youth and into young adulthood, my mother encouraged my interest in art, kept me supplied in paper, pencils and paints and maintained a steadfast interest in my creative pursuits. She died when I was a young woman, which left an immense void in my life. While helping my father go through her things, I found my little horse sculpture, carefully wrapped up and tucked safely away in a drawer. At that moment, holding it in my hands and missing her almost more than I thought I could endure, I decided I would find a way to follow my dream of making a living as an artist full-time. I keep that little horse sculpture in my studio as a reminder, not only of her love and support, but that perseverance and loving what you do can make dreams come true. Thanks Mom.