Wednesday, August 15, 2007
An Interview With Kathy (Beauty Flower Poem)
I first met Kathy last spring through Etsy.com where she has an on-line shop called Beauty Flower Poem. Kathy is an experienced artist and art teacher and works with a variety of materials. You’ll find in her shop watercolors and postcards featuring nature and female figures as their theme, as well as copies of her book "I Have No Arms!" The book is a collection of eight poems that focus on recovery from traumatic experiences. She is also collaborating on three book projects with photographer Marlin Wagner. Kathy donates a portion of her profits to such organizations as RAINN.org (where she is an official RAINNmaker), Rape Response Services, and Artists for Autism.
Kathy draws inspiration from her mother, Marie Dobash, a folk artist who at 82 continued to paint despite illness. Marie used a TV tray as her art studio. "I just let the brush tell me what to do," she told Kathy. "I paint and daydream."
Marie died in the spring of 2007 and Kathy honors her mother’s life and memory by continuing to reproduce her mother’s work. Marie’s whimsical bird, fish and landscape, and flower notecards may be found in Kathy’s shop. Shortly before she died, Marie also participated in the Rape Response Services fundraiser held in April 2007.
Marie encouraged her questioning daughter to work with children. "You can still reach them when they are young." Both mother and daughter found contentment with living in the moment…and, it seems, the little things of life: sharing lunch together at bedside, listening to polka music, taking photographs (of flowers, architecture, children creating art, family), and painting together to inspire creativity. Their bond was (and still is) based in the spiritual. They prayed together, read affirmations aloud, and focused on helping others.
When life gets tough, Kathy focuses on solutions, setting goals and achieving them. She pushes negative, irrational thoughts away and tells herself "I can try again tomorrow." She focuses on accomplishments, not failures. "Learn from the mistakes," she recommends, "and MOVE on."
Kathy’s main goal is to leave some positive energy with her art, writing, etc. "I hope that anything I accomplish, whether it is the smile on an individual’s face or some art that is in a gallery to view, that it is remembered and leaves my mark on this planet.
That is the way I get through life's trying moments."
Each day, Kathy reflects on what she’s accomplished and plans for the next. She’s facing some big transitions since her mother’s passing. "Right now I am not sure where I will live when the house is sold, but I know I will be okay...I am a survivor."