I am an artist. How surreal is that? As a young child I was strongly encouraged to not express myself through art by a teacher who told me, "not everyone can be an artist" as I was struggling to create in her way. As a result I spent almost my entire life needing to create without an outlet for it, leading to internal conflict and grief. As an adult returning to college,, adrift and lost at sea, I took an oil painting class to fill a void in my schedule. Not only did I learn, for the first time in my life, that I could paint I also learned that it was exactly what my soul had been looking for. Now I paint to bring joy to myself and those around me.