Ana writes of herself as an artist:
I have several significant memories of the creative forces in my life. Many are of the countless hours I spent in the warmth of my grandmothers kitchen, learning from her the ways to knead bread dough, grind chile, create from the apple and plum trees the most delicious pan dulce. They are some of my happiest memories and at times, when I am feeling stressed, sad or just tired, I feel the warmth of her hands on mine. Her recipes are settled deep into my memory box.
Others are of my father yelling for me to get up, the sun was no longer in slumber and neither should I be. It was time to fix the roof, rebuild the fence, help with the sanding of whatever beautiful furniture he had in creation in his workshop at the time. I was never the daughter to whom he looked at and said, Ah, mijita, you are too fragile.. No, I was always the daughter in whose hands he placed a bandsaw and said, this is how it works, mija. You got it? Good, now go and use it.
When I asked him to teach me how to use a woodturning lathe, there was no hesitation. He mounted the wood, gave me a lesson on the different tools and how they were to be used, placed the tools in my hand and said, Respect these tools, and practice. Woodworking is in your blood. And it turns out that he was right. I loved the creating process from the moment my tool touched the surface of the wood.
When you grow up in the sunlight of artists, you are taught to see the world…the colors, the shadows, the light. I remember my dad telling me to sit down, climb up, walk from far to look at whatever was being built from as many different angles as I could to find the beauty. My grandma would tell me to slow down, smell the spices, watch the thickening of the broth, feel the texture of the maza as it became ready for baking.
Waking up the senses turns an individual into a photographer, because if you learn to really see the world as it is meant to be seen then the impulse to capture that beauty and share it is intense.My son is perhaps the number one focus of my vision, my thoughts, my heart and my camera lens. My favorite photography is that which shows the soul of the subject–belly laughter, pensive eyes, enamored couples and parents, and the beauty of spontaneous moments.
I have found that filling as much of my world with as much beauty as I can possibly find, the happier and happier I become.
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*photo provided by artist