Helen Schrider Higgins, my 81 year old Mom has been making art her entire life. She studied at Catholic University’s art program in the 50’s and earned a Master’s Degree in ceramics. Through good times, bad times, and giving birth to nine children, she has continued to draw, paint and sculpt. This year, my Dad has been engaged in a grueling battle with heart disease and diabetes. She has been the primary caretaker, and she has continued to draw and paint.
Recently, she had two new pieces accepted into the 78th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, MD. Below is a photo from the exhibit. It shows her piece titled “Floating” which sold before the show opened. She told me that when she takes a swim in the ocean she likes to float on her back.“Floating” is sculpture of a mermaid enjoying the experience of floating. I think my Mom is a good example of the importance of integrating the practice of art into your life.
When Mom and I were at the artist’s luncheon for the Miniature Society show a few weeks ago, I was reminded of how my childhood experiences were connected with the act of making things. Mom was always wedging clay. If she wasn’t sculpting then she was drawing. I don’t remember ever playing with dolls. I remember being given clay or pastels and paper and told to Make Something!