My name is Lori Nass and I am from St. Peters, Missouri. I grew up in Illinois, surrounded by cornfields and family. As a child, I witnessed the creativity of several of my family members. My grandmother started and successfully ran her own upholstery business. My mom decorated and sold cakes on the side. My older brother amazed me with his seemingly effortless ability to draw realistic cars. My little sister entered the world with a fashion sense that she nurtures to this day.
Even my dad, who was a welder, would doodle flames on his equipment and delight us with welded mini sculptures and highly imaginative stories. When I wasn’t busy assisting them in all of their creative endeavors, I would sketch, bake, sew, build, or paint. I was not picky about how or what to create, I just wanted to get my hands to work creating. In my mind, creativity was and always has been a natural part of life.
During my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to take my first official art class and absolutely loved it. I already had plans of pursuing a career in nursing after high school, and that is exactly what I did. While at college, I took electives like ceramics and art seminars as a way to manage and relieve stress.
I was married by the time I finished college, and soon after began work as a Critical Care Nurse. I always left room in my plans for the potential of motherhood which was my greatest desire. Ultimately, I became the mother of four wonderful sons, which I have homeschooled for the last twenty years.
Homeschooling my children helped me rediscover my own love for learning and creativity. Our oldest son is very artistic and creative. In a desire to foster his learning and help him along his path, I began taking him to a local art class. The teacher encouraged me to stay and participate as well. As a result, something amazing and unexpected happened; my love for art was rekindled.
My need to create, which had been put away so I could tend to the demands of life, was reawakened. Slowly, I started making art a consistent part of my daily life. In doing so, my hunger for it has grown exponentially. When I create, the things around me grow silent and I can fully enjoy the moment. I can slow down and savor the here and now. The process of creating art brings quality to my life-a fullness.
When I rediscovered my need to create art, I initially worked with pencil or ink and a basic sketchbook. Eventually, I explored acrylic painting and enjoyed it a lot. However, as the busyness of life pressed in on the time I had to devote to daily art, I realized two important things.
One, setting art aside was no longer an option, and two I needed to work with supplies that were readily available. After this realization, I began to play with watercolors. I soon discovered the beauty of ink and watercolor in cooperation with each other, and I was hooked.
Not to mention, the portability and ease of set-up and clean up. I started with Winsor & Newton watercolors and now include Daniel Smith and M. Graham in my toolbox as well. Truly, I love them all! I would definitely describe myself as an art supply enthusiast. Some of my favorites are the following: Stabilo All pencil, aqua brushes, Duke fountain pen with Fude nib, Sakura Pigma Micron pens, Pentel Sign Microbrush pens, and my Guerilla Painter Thumbox (for plein aire/urban sketching). I also love to make my own sketchbooks and art journals.
The world inspires me, especially the beauty in nature and life. Specifically, I like finding simple truth that exists amongst the more complicated scenarios of life. I am an introvert but I love to be among people. I find joy in quietly observing the individuality and beauty that makes each one of us uniquely wonderful. I find richness in life and all of its sights, sounds, and experiences.
As my life transitions once more from homeschooling mom to empty nester, I find myself eager for this new chapter of life. I am entering into it with something I needed that I did not realize I was missing; my love for art and the understanding that I get to create!
The possibilities excite and invite me to dream. As it turns out, my life is a work in progress and whether I am sketching while sipping coffee or developing a creative career, I welcome all the possibilities.
Fun Fact: I started my Instagram account as a result of an art friend telling me about Doodlewash and World Watercolor Group. She explained how the monthly prompt list is a great way to have incentive to make art every day. She was right. Thank you, Charlie O’Shields, for how you inspire all of us.