Since I was a little girl; I realized I had a different view on the world than most people. I grew up in a low income community which was deemed "the projects" on the west side of Stamford, CT. Only a fence divided Greenwich, CT which is very well known for its wealth. The divide was evident because there were really nice, elaborate homes on the other side of the fence compared to our run down apartment complexes. I also never remember seeing the police driving through that neighborhood nearly as much as they drove through mine. Although we lived in this community we shared a sense of pride knowing that our neighbors were there if we ever needed them, we tried to make the best of every situation. Like many communities, we had some moments of conflict that made our community look like a terrible place to live but quite the contrary to that was how I viewed it.
My three brothers and I had the opportunity to attend schools that would enhance our gifts and talents, I still remember going to art class in Westover Elementary School and feeling like it was "Home" for my heart. Mrs. Grasso was my art teacher and she would often pull me to the side and tell me that I had a gift. I didn't know it was a gift at the time but I did know it was the one thing that stayed with me always and it was the only thing I loved as much as I loved my family.
During my parents divorce I remember feeling lost and confused. The breakdown of their relationship meant the breakdown of everything that I knew to be true in my young mind; art became my solace.
Years later I was married and built a little family of my own. I was so immersed with the life of nurturer that my creative abilities became dormant. As a mother, I honed in on letting my children's abilities shine through. Whatever chances I wasn't given as a child I wanted to give them, I wanted them to have more. Somewhere between putting all of my energy into being mom, wife, student and employee, the sense of who I was and the dreams I had were set aside.
I realized eventually that I had lost something very valuable in the shuffle; myself and my first love, art. Through my own divorce, I decided to rekindle my romance with art and that is when I discovered what had been missing for so long. I have been painting ever since. Creating art and sharing it opened a whole new world for me. Meeting and falling in love with people who would be the catalysts to putting that gift into the world for others to see has forever changed my life for the better. I have loved and lost again since my journey back to art began and I have no regrets.
The truth is, art never left me. It is something so ingrained in my being that it is literally a part of who I am. I just needed the right things and people to happen in my life to give me the necessary push. These days I am committed to my career as an artist. I have already done what so many of my peers are just now starting to do. I've been married, had children, the full time job and the white picket fence and I am happy that I experienced it all. Pages turn, chapters continue and life goes on. One of my children is now an adult and the other is in high school. I'm committed to myself and being an example of positivity for them. I want to make sure I am at my best so that when and if love comes along again I am able to truly recognize it and be open to the possibilities. I'm not sure what the future holds for love but for now I am content with my late night rendezvous standing in front of my canvas with my brush in hand creating whatever it is I am meant to create.