It’s interesting to look back now at these seemingly unrelated, yet completely synchronistic events that led me here…
To this balcony overlooking the beautiful and mighty Mississippi, staring at my homeland: Iowa. It was the perfect, overwhelming moment of gratitude that I give credit for leading me back. To finding the missing key to the magical box I closed nearly 20 years ago, when I changed my major from Art to Textiles and Apparel, graduated college, packed up all my brushes, palettes and paints, and embarked on an exciting and fulfilling career in fashion. One that’s allowed me to travel nationally and internationally working alongside some of the very best in the industry.
Then, last year everything closed. Everyone retreated. For the first time ever, my industry was quiet. Years of travel stopped.
It was there I stood with my son, just the two of us, isolated from the world, staring across that vast and expansive Mississippi River, watching the bright sun slowly and vibrantly drop beyond the rainbow-colored horizon. It was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. It brought me to tears. I was completely stunned and overwhelmed with gratitude. And for the first time in many, many years, I thought to myself, “I wanna paint that. No, I’m gonna paint that!”
So I went home, dug out all my favorite brushes, beloved palettes, easel and old oil paints that I had so meticulously preserved in my magical art bin, and then I did something I hadn’t done in nearly 20 years, I sat outside and painted. Joy I hadn’t experienced in years enveloped me. Remember how this feels, I thought? Yes. And I had no idea I had missed it so terribly.
Suddenly the whole world opened up. I couldn’t leave my house – no one could leave their house – but I could. I could get lost traveling through somewhere else, on a beach, in another country for hours and hours while I painted. And I’ve been traveling through paintings ever since.
Currently, you may find me painting in my grandpa’s Oshkosh farming overalls from the 70’s – the same ones that girl packed-up all those years ago. Ironically, they still fit, how’s that for synchronicity?
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Shop Evanston Made: Stacia Mayfield