Monday, September 26, 2011

The Gift of A Creative Mother: Guest Post by Cami Smith

 Hello! Here we are at the start of another week.  I hope your weekend was whatever you needed it to be.  Mine was hectic, but good.  So to get inspired and start out our Monday,  I am really excited to introduce you to one of the amazing women that I have recently gotten to know through my sponsorship swap project.    Meet Cami Smith.  She is the voice and heart behind her blog Colorsmith and an incredible fiber artist (all these amazing works are hers!).  She also Art Journals and does beautiful Mixed Media work as well.
Cami has a heart for art making and has done so her entire life for no other purpose or intention than because it is who she is.  In fact, Cami grew up with a creative artsy mama that taught her about the beauty and passion that living a creative life can offer.
This really struck a chord with me, because as a young mom and an artist, I want my own children to be given the opportunity to discover their creative spirit, and let art making be a part of their lifestyle regardless of whether the world believes they have "talent."  I believe that creative expression is a natural part of being human, and that everyone should participate in it.  So I asked Cami if she would be willing to share a bit about her experience growing up with an artistic mother.  I hope you enjoy her story as much as I did.

"Turpentine in our kitchen cabinets were as common as a box of cereal.  I grew up with an artist for a mother.  All my friends loved coming over to our house. I'm not sure why... certainly not because we had some cookies baking in the oven.  My mother was not one for cooking.  Oh, I didn't go hungry.  Certainly not intellectually.  We just had food that seemed to mingle with art supplies.  
Every thing was a drawing surface to my mother. When she would come home with some groceries, she would stop as she was folding the paper bags. She would tell us to hold still, then she would proceed with her charcoal pencil and start to draw us on the blank part of the paper grocery bag.  Or maybe start drawing the fruit that she just placed in a bowl.  Our kitchen had an on going mural of the fog coming over the San Fransisco Golden Gate Bridge being painted on the wall.  In her bathroom, she drew her self portrait with her eye makeup pencils on many of the tiles around her mirror,.  She had a wonderful collection of self-portraits until the house keeper decided to wipe it clean!  
She loved studying wild life and insects.  We always had some creatures in living in terrariums like turtles or tarantulas.  She would often get us up at dawn ( reluctantly) we would go for a bird watching walks and stop to sketch what we saw.  And ... I know this sounds kind of crazy but if she found a dead bird, she would wrap it up carefully and put it in the freezer so she could study it more closely and draw it when she had time.  Yes, dead birds somewhere next to the frozen peas. 
It was not uncommon for her to point out the "negative space" between the trees as we would be driving down the road.   She always took us to classical music concerts, ballet performances, museums, gallery exhibits and operas.  We had a big poster of Beethoven and on December 17,  we propped up it on a chair by the kitchen table.  She would get a cake from the bakery and would sing happy birthday to him.  So our intellect was well fed.  
I have an extreme appreciation for the creative soul.  You might ask, how does this translate to raising my own children?  Well my son is in grad school studying classical trumpet.  My daughter studies ballet with the Russian Ballet company.   But other than the free range chicken I buy at the super market, I don't have any dead birds next to the frozen peas in my freezer!"

(The photos included in Cami's guest post are of her mother (85) surrounded by her found objects, sculptures and canvases in her studio where she lives in Seattle.  All other photos are of Cami's original artworks, as can be seen on her blog).

Thank you so much Cami! I hope to be as creative and inspiring as a mother, as yours was for you.  I highly encourage you to check out Cami's blog and get to know her better.  She is also on Facebook and is an incredibly inspiring person to get to know.

Just a reminder: Only 2 days left to enter the BIG Sponsor Giveaway!  8 incredible prizes by 8 incredible women for ONE winner :)  CLICK HERE TO ENTER! 


  1. Wow! Love your work Cami. I came here from the yahoo altered books group...and glad I did. Not only to find out more about you...but Harmony too!

  2. Now this is what I call creativity!
    Everything has been made so artistically. Well done!


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