Art is what is the thing that lights my soul on fire. It was always so fascinating to be in a classroom of students, everyone given the same assignment, and every single outcome rendered through a different aesthetic. It’s even cooler when you take away the external direction and pull from your own experiences and vision. So when I walked into Scottsdale’s Celebration of Fine Arts this is what was on my mind. I wanted to know the story behind the paintings and sculptures and other creations I was seeing. There are no words to read or lyrics to listen to, but the artist is definitely telling a story.
I walked up to an exhibit of bold colorful textured hearts. Hearts can be cutesy, but these were different. These hearts had been through something. They were powerful, but there was a vulnerability and utter sincerity to the love they expressed. As I’m admiring the abstract expressionist pop art hearts, the artist, a tall burly bearded man, joined me. Tanner Lawley, who disclosed he was a fellow Texan, must be 6’6” or 6’7”. He wasn’t the person I envisioned on the other end of the paint brush, but he began to tell me his story and how he came to paint the hearts that he is known for.
Tanner was just the person I needed to meet on that day, at that time in my life. He spoke of things he did, choices he made, thrills, emptiness, and then finding purpose, and with that purpose, fulfillment. We spoke for a long time…long enough for my husband and daughter to come back from the golf course hours later and find me there. I walked away from that meeting with a feeling like the needle had moved…plus a couple of Tanner’s hearts;). I knew what I really wanted to do and where I would find the fulfillment I was looking for. I needed to get back to my most natural talent and creative expression. Jewelry design is my art. Precious metals and gemstones are my medium. Through them I translate memories, ideas, and emotions, and experiences. My jewelry isn’t just something to commemorate an event. There’s a soul to it…a part of me.
I feel like there has been an invisible thread connecting me to certain people throughout my life. Tanner Lawley wasn’t the only divine encounter I had. In my next entry I’ll introduce you to Sharing the Rough, a documentary about the journey of a gemstone from mine to market, and how meeting Roger Dery, the central character of the film, impacted my life. I will just be returning from my third trip to East Africa and will have much to write about. While launching my debut Barefoot Collection, I will begin designing pieces that will feature colored gemstones I personally select from ethical mine owners and operators in East Africa. It’s an exciting time and my enthusiasm is overflowing. I’ll be sure to let you know when and where you can see and purchase my one-of-a kind fine jewelry. Until then call me for a private showing.