When I grew up in a small town, I loved to ride my bike and draw. I would lie on the basement floor, in our reckroom that had wood paneled walls and a large TV. The floor had linoleum tiles stuck right to the cement basement floor. My Father was the home renovator in our house. My Mother and Father watched musical shows on the television in the evenings. I liked company so I would lie on that cold cement floor in our reckroom, that was adorned with an oval red braided rug and draw. My Mother used to say I would start a fire with my furious erasing and scribbling. I would try and draw the cartoon characters on the television or any scene in my head that I found pleasing.
My Father was an avid outdoor’s man but also made painted wooden carvings. He made fabulous bird and duck carvings but he always noticed the little things that no one else would see, in critique of his own work. My Mother has all of his small bird carvings. I would love to have one for sentimental reasons. Some of his character traits I share as well, such as being personable, sense of humor, sensitivity, creativity and self-criticism.
As I went through high school, I thought I would like to pursue an art career. I applied and was accepted to university for a degree in Art and Art History that had hands on training at Sheridan College and Fine Art at University of Toronto. It was an excellent training but I felt like I was making art to please my professors for passing grades. That was my own issue. When I graduated there was very little an artist could do to earn a steady income other than work in a gallery or museum. Since I had to pay for my education and a new home, I moved away from art and pursued another career. In hindsight that career was likely as hard as art to break into.
After a long period of grief and stress, due to the death of my father from a long battle with cancer, my husband's autoimmune disease and financial pressure to take care of my family, I found solace in art. I became re-united with my creative side when I received an adult coloring book of mandalas. Friends would tease me that I should be beyond “childish colouring” by now. However, this simple colouring book ignited my creative spark and it felt right.
After a rainy week at a trailer, with nothing to do at the beach, my young son and I collected rocks and picked up some acrylic paint to paint them. I had not lost my knack for art. I loved the feeling of immersing myself into art again. I started to create and more things that moved me.
After a time, I started to branch out and got back into painting canvases. I didn’t mind the time it took to produce a more intricate painting. Now that I am older, painting is easier than it was when I was in my youth. Maybe it is age, more patience or just enjoying what I denied myself for some years and appreciation of the craft. I only want to paint, what moves me, because my art does something for me that I cannot describe. My art helps me feel more connected to my self and is a great stress relief. This year, I am attending VATI, Vancouver Art Therapy Institute to help others use art to help with their emotional well-being.
Local artist, homeopath, nutritionist, mother of two boys and two fur babies.
Guelph Painter Artist
Heather Caruso loves nature, animals, viewing and creating art.
"Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain and artist when we grow up"
"I don't paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality".
"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere"
~Vincent Van Gogh