Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A cardinal painted just for me

I am so truly blessed to be part of an online poetry group. We met a few years ago on Robert Brewer's Poetic Asides blog and then went on to form a more exclusive, personal group where we share poetry daily and even offer each other support during life's difficulties. One of the members of our group, Michelle Hed, is not only a writer and poet, but also an artist. When she sent me this beautiful (handmade just for me) Christmas card, I asked her if I could post a picture of it on my blog. She said okay so I proceeded to ask her a few questions. Read on to find out about this magnificent lady and friend.

1. Tell us about yourself.

I am a forty-one years old and I have been married for 19 years today (Dec. 23). I have two beautiful daughters (ages 12 and 9) and two dogs. Painting, reading and writing are my three major passions, with a sprinkling of photography, knitting and sewing to keep things interesting. I’m a stay at home Mom, but I volunteer at my daughters’ schools three times a week.

2. What came first- writing or artwork?

I would have to say artwork. I’ve been drawing since I could pick up a crayon. Although while reflecting on this question I remembered that in elementary school I wrote a story on what Christmas would be like in the future ~ which I recall we would all have metallic Christmas trees ~ and this story was printed in our local newspaper. So I guess the spark for writing started pretty young as well. I didn’t start writing poetry until I was in High School. I would have to say art is very similar to writing – in that you don’t immediately paint a masterpiece, just as you don’t immediately write that best seller in a first draft. One of the animals I wanted to paint for my Christmas cards this year was the Sea Otter. No matter how I tried I couldn’t get it to look right ~ looked more like a misshapen gnome. I decided now was not the time for the Sea Otter but I will revisit him when the time is right.

3. What inspires you?

Friends and family inspire me the most. For instance when deciding which four animals to draw/paint for my annual Christmas cards, I’m always thinking of my friends and family and which animals they like or which animals mean something to them. My four animals this year are the wolf (my daughter’s favorite animal), the cardinal (special bird for you), the common house cat (my parents and so many friends have cats) and the bear (my Dad and my nephew – my dad because they get bears frequently as their house and my nephew because he is afraid of them). Also, I have found nature to be very inspiring for art, writing and photography. I just really love nature. There is so much beauty in nature to enjoy and appreciate if we just took the time to enjoy it.

4. What are your hopes and plans for the future?

I hope to one day have my poetry published. I am currently working on two different books, both of which are collaborations. I would also love to have my art recognized but I am still deciding how to approach this one. I sometimes think I should like to try illustrating, or perhaps start working craft shows starting small with cards, but haven’t as of yet decided what route I would like to go. I think I have plenty of time to decide as I continue to grow up!

5. Do you have a website, blog, or some other way to be reached?

No blogs or websites, I’m actually an extremely private person, an introvert. I took a huge leap of faith two years ago, when I joined Robert Brewer’s Poetic Asides poetry challenge. I haven’t looked back since taking that leap. I’m now on Facebook, although my privacy settings are very strict and I also have a very close group of writing friends, whom I actually have never met in person.
Thanks for interviewing me for you blog Laurie. It’s been a pleasure chatting with you! Merry Christmas everyone! – Michelle Hed

Merry Christmas to you, too, Michelle (and everyone reading this). Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to answer my questions. I will be featuring more special cardinal cards I have received in the coming days.


Jeni said...

This is soooo special!! I have a painting like that too that was made for me last Christmas!! I can't believe I didn't post about it .... I will! I've just been so busy :(! Haven't blogged in a couple weeks. I'm having blog withdrawal & so much to blog about! Soon.....

Nancy said...

Thanks for highlighting Michelle, Laurie. We have such a special group!

Terri said...

enjoyed reading about Michelle and seeing the card. I learn something new about you guys all the time, and I'm so happy to be a part of the group. I am enjoying my cat card painted by Michelle.