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08/21/2011


This I Know • by Heather Foust


Heather FoustI have always felt the need to create something. My mother and father were both artists. There was a lot of creativity going on in my house everyday: painting, sewing, knitting, decopauging, candle making, cooking, making paper art, wood carving, playing music, and singing. So much creativity I guess I did not realize that it was shaping me.

Something Missing
I was a beautiful young girl that didn’t know what to do with all that beauty. I made bad choices. I was misguided. I was a child having a child and married at a very early age. I was not pushed to be the woman that I could have been. I was brought up to think that women were supposed to be happy to be married and have children and then live their husbands’ lives. The woman-behind-the-man type of thing. Never encouraged to fly, always grounded. It never felt right to me. I was always the rebel. Inside I knew this is not the way I wanted to be.

When I was 25 I started to have panic attacks. I didn’t tell anyone about them because I thought I was crazy and that I would be carted away to the funny farm. Eventually they became so bad there was no more covering them up. I started on the best journey of my life. I started going to a therapist. Self-discovery is a funny thing. It opens you up. You start thinking about the reasons why I kept making these bad choices in my life. I am a perfect example that there is a way out of all your fears and bad choices. I have always been a seeker. Trying to better myself in any way that I could. This whole time the constant thing that was in my life was art.

I thought I was living my life the way I wanted at this point. I went back to school. Remarried to a wonderful man. I got an education. Found myself a career. I went along thinking that everything is the way it is and this is all there is. But it still always felt like there was something missing. I was always creating as a hobby. Never thinking it was possible to make a living with my art.

Painting & Soul Searching
My mother was put in a nursing home for the last year of her life. It was a long journey that our whole family got lost in. My art was forgotten. We had my mother to think of and take care of the best we could. She died the day after my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

After my mother died I had to sort out a lot of things going on in my head. I missed her so much. One day my father brought me boxes and boxes of acrylic paint from a friend that had worked at a paint factory. Those boxes truly changed my life. I think my dad knew it would. All these colors! Ahh I can’t even tell you the love affair I had with that paint. I painted everything! And I am not kidding you. Everything! I started painting from canvases to picnic tables. Slowly I came back from my funk. I found my passion again. I just could not stop. I felt my mother (and my father) was guiding me to find my passion again for art.

I also did a lot of soul searching. I realized the bad things that happen in my life are no longer my story. They are the past and I will leave them in the past. I am no longer a victim. I live for now. And I can make it through anything life wants to give me. I have such gratitude for the life I have lived — good or bad. It has made me the person that I am today. And I think I am pretty darn cool …

A Hunger for Art
When I was 50 I had made it a mission to make art my life. Call it a mid-life crisis or a mid-life awakening. Whatever it is, there is this wonderful hunger inside me. Hunger for art. I feel more alive than I have ever felt before. It took me awhile to find my passion again but all that matters is that it has been found. I have had many labels in my life: daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, rebel, problem child, comedian. But I have always been afraid to say “Artist.” Not anymore. I believe … I am an Artist.

Art Saves, this I know.

To learn more about Heather Foust, visit heatherlfoust.blogspot.com.

Comments

Heather, thanks for sharing your wonderful story!
I'm thrilled for you that your journey led you to finding your passion.
xo

Heather, I can relate to the panic attacks! Art has helped me through them too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and story with us. It seems so many of us artists are so alike! Deb

Heather - thank you for sharing this with us. It's brave to open up your soul like this but helps so many of us recognise parts of your journey in our own. Time and again I read how 'art saves'. It feels great to be a part of this tribe.

As a long-time fan of your work I hope you go on learning and creating and sharing your wonderful work with us which seems to grow with every piece.

We are all so much more than we seem, eh? Glad you found what makes you whole.

What an inspiring story! Learning how to make better choices in life through self discovery and art.

I'm a local and found you through the Fall Festival post. I am so happy that you have found a way to make art your life. I feel I am on a similar path. I hope I can meet you that day and say thank-you for sharing your story!

Heather - you have been a wonderful guest curator - I have loved seeing the links that you have shared every day :)

It is so wonderful to read your story and learn more about the fantastic and brave woman behind the beautiful art!

Thank you for sharing!

xo
Kristin

Heather!!
I am sooo proud and happy for you... truly! I feel like we have known each other for quite some time now, and I've been so priviledged to watch you grow and flourish. You have always been so kind and sharing, and I appreciate your friendship♥ You are on your way girlfriend... up, up and away!!

xo ajae

Woman, you are just taking off lately aren't you!? You should be so proud of all of your success. You are such a talented woman and it's wonderful that so many are now able to see your work. Thanks for sharing it with us and thanks for the inspiration it gives :)

Kim

What a beautiful story! You inspire me, Heather. Thank you for sharing.

xoxo
Lisa

I can totally relate to your story, I only started painting again a few years ago when my son was diagnosed with autism and I think it was because I always thought I'd have time later and then I realized there would never be anymore time than in the present!

I'm so glad you chose to not let the bad experiences define your life and to make art a priority! So inspiring, Heather~thank you for sharing!:)

wow, such an inspiration, beautiful!

What a great story. Art truly DOES save.

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