Happy New Year! It is unbelievable how quickly the year went by in 2013, It was a year of changes for me, big changes and I think I am still reeling. My artwork has been a source of great joy for me, I can’t wait to get out of bed every day to get into the studio and start working. I started the year out visiting a friend in Blountstown at his hunting camp. Armed with pimento cheese and sweet tea in mason jars , my friend Maria and I headed to God’s country to see Jim McClellan at the Iamonia Lake Clubhouse. I had never been to this place but there was something about being out in the raw beauty of creeks , rivers and the cypress trees that struck an ancient chord in me . I clicked away pictures, excited about painting them and when I got back home, I holed up for weeks sketching, painting and trying to figure out the color of the Apalachicola River’s tannic water.
Later in the summer months, my ninety four year old grandmother and friend quietly slipped away from us waiting for an ambulance to take her back home to Blountstown from a Tallahassee hospital . She was an amazing lady and my heart still aches for her voice on the phone and her sweet, shy smile when I would go and see her. She was rather prim and proper but she was very smart and clever and she could remember small details, like the names of the two housekeepers that stood up for her when she married my grandfather…. Carrabelle and Aquilla. Her mama didn’t like her choice of husbands so she disappeared while the couple quietly married at the house. She knew a lot of sadness, but she lived much joy too and she is safely in the arms of her Savior now. Her death marked a rite of passage for me, life will never be the same again.
In the fall of the year, my boss of twenty years called to tell me of a customer ,that had probably been my first customer in 1986, had passed away. When I got off the phone I knew that I had to leave the safety of the little shop that I had worked in the past 28 years. That life is short and you can’t have any regrets , passions or words that haunt you. You have to tell the people that you love and those that you don’t love what is on your heart and make things right that were wrong. Going back to Blountstown’s wildness reminded me of growing up there, losing my grandmother and leaving my job to pursue my love of art was a big change for me. I think it is that I am discovering who I really am…. at 54. Glad for this opportunity to serve and glorify God through my gifts and learn more about myself than I ever knew about. Praise God from whom all blessing flow, Suz
The first picture is of the Blountstown trip to the wild lands, the second picture is the house where my grandmother grew up and married. She lived right behind this house for the remainder of her life. The third picture is a painting of the creek in Blountstown I painted right after our trip. I love where I come from and it was fun to capture the wildness of the area.