Sunday, March 22, 2015

Influence...

I've thought a lot about my creative influences.  There have been many over the years and I doubt there will ever be a time when I'm not learning from someone.  But one of my first teachers and creative influences was my grandma.  She was a sassy, Southern woman who was always busy making something.  I can hardly remember a time when she was sitting idle.  She always had a project going... sewing a quilt, mending doll dresses, or making colorful lampshades, game boards, or rolled beads.  We made "rock dogs" from pebbles glued together and "potato people" stuffed into old mason jars.  (They were made out of old stockings filled with cotton and had goggly eyes sewn on.)

Not only was she always crafting, but she always "stuck up for the little guy".  Usually that was me.  I was the youngest of the grandkids and... well... I marched to a different beat.  I remember one summer, there was a considerable fuss because I didn't want to go to the tackle shop and wanted to go to the sewing circle instead.   It was very close to blasphemous!  Since I was a boy, I wasn't allowed to attend.  So, she hid me under the quilt.  I remember laying there, trying not to make a sound, listening to the drone of conversation and watching hands busily at work.  Eventually I was discovered and she was asked not to bring me back.  I was sad that my sisters and female cousins could go and I couldn't.  I didn't think it was fair.  So, she took me into her sewing room (which was forbidden to children) and she taught me how to thread a needle and make some simple stitches.

I think that one of the reasons that she's one of my greatest creative influences is that she was one of the first people who ever gave me permission to be myself.  When everyone else had an idea of what little boys should do and be like, she let me decide and encouraged me to do what made me happy.

5 comments:

Rebecca said...

She sounds like a really amazing lady. Thank you for sharing a little about her.

Heather Powers said...

Oh Andrew thank you for sharing the story of your grandma and her influence during your younger years. It makes me thankful this morning for those who encouraged my artistic spirit as a kid.

taralinda said...

This is powerful and beautiful Andrew. Your post made my day...thank you. ;)

Tim Thornton said...

Andrew, you can beat to whatever drum your heart desires. No matter what I will always be glad to call you my cousin.

Sarajo Wentling said...

You are so lucky and blessed to have a grandma like that! Thanks for sharing this story... and keep on marching to your own beat! We love you for it!