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growing up around green

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

inspiration comes from everywhere and everything, but the source that i draw from is my childhood in southern delaware. sometimes you can get inspiration from the rough times, and sometimes you can get inspiration from the good and comfortable times.

growing up, i spent a large chunk of my time at the dairy farm ten minutes away from my house. i leased and raised dairy heifers to take them to the delaware state fair and entered them in shows. my family home where i grew up was a small ranch house surrounded by flowers and a garden run by my dad. he built an electric fence so my siblings and i could learn how to care for and raise livestock animals ten feet away from our house. we had cows there first, then goats and years later, sheep. dad also built a lot of other things, cabinets, apple cider press, and one time, solar panels!! his carpenter skills are more than likely the root of my love of sculpture. i would come home from high school and be greeted by green and goats, and spend my summers working with and taking care of my animals. thinking back, i realize that most of my artistic inspiration comes from my parents and my childhood adventures among the animals and the outside. sheep were my favorite animal to take care of, their gentleness and peaceful aura kept me sane through my last two years of high school. it was magical to come home from school and go sit in the thick grass with these animals. i would walk both sheep at the same time, Julius and Josie, and we would walk around the yard until dinner was ready. in my art projects in college, i notice i was drawing inspiration from these memories at my home. in sculpture i made a giant steel sheep in memory of Julius and Josie, in painting class i painted a collage of green and red, with sheep speckled throughout the canvas. my final for moving images was a video about visiting the dairy farm with my sister (we shared these experiences next to each other.) during the time i was creating these projects, i wasn't actively thinking about my adolescence but my subconscious has a way of forcing these memories into my art.

a month ago, i visited home before moving back to school. my mom and i picked blueberries from our blueberry bushes that are across from our now empty electric fence where my animals once stayed. the mosquitoes were biting but it was nice to do something that seemed normal to me after being in school mode for months.

a few days ago, I went to visit my family at the delaware state fair, my older sister still shows dairy cows there. it gave me a nice whiff of nostalgia, seeing the little kids walking their cows and sheep. maybe one day they will become artists and realize that these experiences and bonds with their farm animals have helped fill a big bucket of inspiration for future art projects. because my bucket is still pretty full from my experiences growing up around green grass and my sister and i running around with our farm animals.

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