When it comes to art, influence is everything. It is my belief that the journey of an artist's life has more of an impact on their art than their natural talent, or trained skillset ever could. The experiences I've had so far in life are no different. Growing up camping, creating, and traveling, I was constantly being pushed in all directions, with ever-changing comfort zones, an array of new places to explore, and a new-found ability to see beauty from a range of perspectives.
My greatest advantage in life is that I grew up surrounded by art, no doubt, hands down. I am a fourth generation artist (possibly more?!), and I could not be more thankful for that. I grew up having the most supportive encouragement on every sketch, painting and project of my life.
My mother, Monica Bowden Forrester is a ceramic artist, teacher, and experimenter extraordinaire. She usually creates nature inspired ceramic pieces, but recently found a new love in creating silicone textured wall hangings.
She home-schooled my military-brat siblings and I for a few short years while our family moved across the country. Even though I have lived in 10+ houses and have attended 10+ schools in my life, my art education was always a constant.
During our yearly trips “over the river & through the woods,” to see her mother, I would always fall in love with whatever painting my Grandmother, Brigitte Bowden, was slowly working on after work and on weekends.
She retired when I was in high school, and I remember being so excited for her when she turned her garage into a beautiful in-home studio. She dove head first into a world of abstract that I hope she never leaves! I remember thinking to myself, “I can’t wait until I retire one day and I can finally be a full-time artist, just like her!”
At the time, the economy was tanking and job prospects were few and far between, so being a professional artist seemed out of the question to me. After a few years working in my chosen field, I had an “ah hah” moment and left it all behind. Why waste your life and energy when it’s not truly what you’re meant to be doing?
My Grandmother showed me you don’t have to wait to do what you’re truly meant to do. Her paintings continue to be an inspiration to me, and I am lucky enough to have my studio walls covered in her work! Her oils and encaustics are so filled with texture, I can’t help but be inspired by hers, and my mother's always evolving masterpieces.
Can you see how exploring the great outdoors, and the influence of their work has impacted mine? I sure can!