I was just thinking that I didn't say what my grandparents taught me, when I checked in here and saw Michele's comment.
So this is it-
Simply, they taught me a love for birds that is so wound up in my head with the feeling of love they had for me and my brother and for God, that I just can't separate those feelings-they all come out together when I watch birds, and now while I'm making them. And for me, that's the secret. Do what you feel a passion for-it's a thing that is just in there-in your heart somewhere, begging to come out. That's how I'm feeling.
Mmmmmm-I'm wondering if I'm explaining this well enough. I've read it so many times, about how your art truly comes from loving what you're doing, so forth and so on, but until recently, it didn't become real for me.
I believe there's a gift in me too-some of it passed from Grandma as I sat with her and learned to sew by hand-each stitch so awkward, but ohhhh-the closeness of being with her, hearing the stories of her childhood, her gentle correction, "Not too tight of a stitch... that's right..."
I also believe I have natural gifts from God. I know I can't sing, so that isn't one of them. I wonder a lot about my artistic ability-but that's when I compare myself with others. So I'm out of that stage in my art now, and just doing what is coming out of some deep well inside.
It's important to me to look at what other artists are doing. I don't want to copy. I want my own 'voice' out there. I'm not a success as an artist at all. But I'm rejoicing inside because of the feeling making these little birds is giving me. And now, as I hear a house wren in my yard, I'm transported back so many years ago to my grandparent's home, where I learned love.