Thursday, November 09, 2006

Childhood Inspirations

As a child, I grew up by the ocean. I remember the small white beach house that my parents bought that we lived in for many years of childhood. It was in California, which I thought was the only place on earth of such glorious sunshine and youth. I still can remember running from our little house to the sand right across the street (in Surfside) and we would make sand angels and run through the water. I don't think my mother even knew where we were sometimes; things were different then. Children could play more freely and they were safer. Later, we moved to Oregon, to a wonderful wooded area outside of Klamath Falls. I thought we had moved to the end of the earth, then, because we were so far from people and cars and stores. Our house was an old hunter's cabin without running water; it had a wonderful old black cook stove that my mother would make wonderful breakfasts on. I couldn't believe we actually lived in the woods. I think that is truely where I began to appreciate nature. Living by the sea, I felt the expansiveness of the earth and I would fall asleep at night hearing the ocean's waves quietly speaking. It was very comforting and peaceful. A dreamy kind of childhood. But in the forests of Oregon, I had now found adventure and mystery!! Nearly every day, I would walk in the woods, exploring and discovering so many amazing trees and paths, little abandoned cabins and boats....I thought that they seemed very abandoned but I knew it was just because they were summer homes and the owners rarely came to fill their presence into the little houses. There were so few children living near us, there. I spent a great deal of time by myself, just walking in the woods, running down our path, down to the creek and the boat where I would watch for fish and listen to the birds in the marsh. Here, I think is where I really began to see the beauty in nature and to feel such empathy and love for the creativity of God. I spent so many hours just observing and talking with nature, listening to it's beautiful, sweet voices and songs. I am sharing all of this because now, years later, when I find myself creating art from nature, I am sent back to my childhood, where I can still feel the forest animals quietly watching me and hear the birds calling to one another. Nature is so beautiful and inspiring. I truely believe that if more people could spend more time in the natural world, they would have more peace and happiness and there would not be so many problems in the world as well. Nature is very healing to our souls. My nature art and the other art that I create as well is an extension of my childhood, of the wonderful, sweet memories that I have of my walks in the woods, my conversations with the birds and the forest animals as an innocent, happy child. I am so grateful that now, so many years later, I am inspired to draw from those important and delicate experiences of my childhood and that I can create something beautiful to express my love for the wonder and amazement of the world of nature.


tlc illustration said...

What a lovely blog you have! (And thankyou Ulla for pointing the way over). I was enamored with your work in Victoria magazine years ago and am so tickled to see that you are still creating.

The ocean and the woods are my two favorite places also - both feed me in different ways, but both exert a powerful pull and infuse the work I do as well.

Thanks for sharing.

Sunflower said...


Thank you for your wonderful comments about my artwork!! It was nice to hear from you. I also looked at your blog and thought it looked very interesting. I will go back and visit it again....I just had a few minutes this morning as I am at work. That's great that you are from Seattle; we lived in Washington state many years....outside of Tacoma in Parkland and also on the Long Beach peninsula. I miss beautiful and green it is and I actually miss the rain, too! I do love it here, too though.

Your work is beautiful. It's always so nice to hear from another artist.
Hope we can keep in touch. Thank you so much again for your wonderful comments!!

Debbie Schramer

Ulla said...

Enchanting - I would expect nothing else from you... I am always amazed at how our childhood experiences come out so strongly in our work. You obviously lived the life of a 'wood nymph' and continue to do so. Take care not to wrinkle your wings - and do keep your dreams intact!