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Life is Messy ... Wear a Smock • by Angela Cartwright

Angela CartwrightI have dirtied a lot of smocks in my lifetime, because I find my art to be an extension of my life. It is my way of journaling and processing what I am going through as it happens. Art clarifies challenges I face and the joys I embrace.

I have been a photographer since I was a teenager. I eventually realized how satisfying it is to include my own photographs in the art I make; it makes it more personal and conjures up my experiences in a very satisfying way.

When I was younger I thought art had to look a certain way. My father was a technical artist and I longed to draw like he did. For a long time that drive for “perfection” held me back from using my own voice in the art I created. As my children grew up, I began to break out of the pattern of motherhood as I reached for a way to express myself. I had never stopped taking photographs since I first held a camera, so I delved into experimenting with ways of altering and incorporating my photographs with gesso, paints, and fabric. The experience was both freeing and rewarding. This new photo art (or art-ography as I like to call it) became a scrapbook of my life, a roadmap of my journey. Art is a safe haven to be as unruly as you please.

When my heart gets smudged and torn, art helps me work through it. Art ebbs and flows, frustrates and celebrates. In the end, it is healing and oh so satisfying. Now I can't imagine going through life without wearing a messy smock.

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I am so happy you chose to wear a messy smock! I love you art, what you decided to share with us. I love your words about art ebbing n' flowing. Our vision is unique and we need to play and work, in doing so we can find our joy. Your mind's eye shows so much beauty through your art-ography! Thank you for sharing a piece of your soul~

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