Earth Loving

Art...

My story

by 

Kay Welch-Dotson

I became an artist at a very young age. A hand injury made grasping a pencil difficult so my cousin brought me his big wooden sketch board, it had his cartoons all around the perimeter, and in the middle was a large blank space for the paper. Loosely holding the pencil for drawing and sketching was far easier than the tight control necessary to form the specific shapes of letters and numbers.

Drawing became my therapy, my rehabilitation, it was a way to occupy my time, direct my energy, and nurture my imagination during convalescence. Drawing helped me heal , learn to write again, and it became a way to create my own world. I designed women’s fashions, created new hair styles, drew funny cartoons, and landscapes of abstract proportions. I drew constantly. One day, someone in school asked if I could draw a portrait of their friend. For someone with no formal training in portraiture, I did a pretty fair job.

I began doing pencil, charcoal, and pastel portraits of my co-worker’s children. Most I gave away since folks spend $20 on pizza but would not spend as much for artwork that would last for years. However, my employer took notice and hired me as garment illustrator for their catalog of insulated coveralls, ski wear, hunting and work wear.

 

When I was gifted some polymer clay, the natural thing for a portrait artist to do was to sculpt a face. I created a series of Sol the Sun and Man in the Moon polymer clay magnets and medallions attached to star shaped box tops. On a whim, I created and copyrighted a line of 4” tall characters called eeniebodies©; with no faces, they could be eenie body (anybody). But, as a portrait artist, I wanted to create more than faceless characters.  I created art dolls after finding a book by Jack Johnston, which gave me the instructions on how to create art dolls, make armatures, stuff the bodies, create the hands and feet or shoes, and attach them. 

My husband asked me to make a shaving brush holder for him so I made two. I started using the doll armature wire to string crystals and colorful beads into sun catchers. Thus began my fascination with the bling of crystals. I came to understand why we are so drawn to the refracted light.  We remember that we are still beings of refracted light. As our chakras are aligned, they glow beautifully, from the deep red sacral chakra all the way up to the purple crown chakra, combining to form pure, radiant, white light.

As a child coming from a large tribe, our extended family weekend activities always revolved around camping out, swimming, and being outdoors. But it was when I adopted my first dog, our long walks became a period of discovery and awakening as I began to notice and commune with Nature. On our daily walks, I greeted our neighbors just as I greeted the trees, letting them know I was grateful for their shade, admiring their beautiful blooms, enjoying their tasty pecans, and complimenting the Wisteria for smelling so sweet. The woods at the end of our block became our sacred place, a five acre parcel of partly dense trees and part open meadow beside a creek. On foggy mornings, I would marvel at the hundreds of tiny, perfect spider webs that blanketed the dewy ground.  

 

Each day’s walk brought more insight and enlightenment, a deeper connection with the natural world. As a result, my creations also changed. I focused more on sun catchers, made with crystals and colorful glass beads. With donations of old, broken and unwanted jewelry, I found clever and creative ways to re-purpose those once valued treasures which still had plenty of life and beauty left in them. I made all sorts of fun yet functional creations. 

 

One day, it hit me that by re-using these forgotten gems I am reducing the amount of waste going into the landfill, so that became the crux of my artwork: Re-purposing, Reusing, Recycling. It’s the only way to save the Earth.  

When I returned to the workforce, my co-workers introduced me to the elusive Sasquatch. I became fascinated with them so I created a representation of what I thought those Ancient Elders might look like. I’ve since learned more about them, who they are, and more about their message, their story of love.  Love for one another, love for ourselves, love for our planet. 

I’ve always been fascinated with mermaids and  love for swimming so I honor them and send out the message of eco-awareness to protect our water and save the environment by making gorgeous mermaids using gemstones, pearls, seashells, and re-purposed materials.

I was also inspired by the world of fantasy to create a Fairy Grandmother out of beads, re-purposed jewelry, and a rhinestone stud earring for her magic wand.  She spoils small children and grants the wishes of those with the purest hearts. If mermaids were to represent clean water, fairies represent fresh air.

Each of my creations has their own stories, their own messages of eco-awareness to share, and each one is an eARTh Messenger. I feel compelled to share their messages on how we must connect and learn to love one another, and learn to love our planet, in order to save our home.

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