“Heart of a Poet, Eyes of an Artist” Creating is an essential part of me as water is to life. Every day my creative juices need to flow for me to feel right in this crazy world. I am a picture maker- meaning images and ideas pop into my mind then pound to get out driving me to obsession. I skip meals, miss appointments, barely sleep till the project is finished. Be it a poem or wall hanging. Sometimes my creations come from those occasional prompts for pen and paper and rare moments captured with lens in hand. However the idea is born, I have always expressed myself in a multitude of ways.

Today, my  mediums are  primary photography and wall art.  I have grown to love altering  photos with digital art adding another layer to my photography. My wall art begins with either a natural object, a photo, or a textile piece as the base. Then I combine them with fabrics of all kinds, found objects, words, and knotting’s of bead and thread. They become wall hangings of trees and tricksters, or sculptures of bone and bead. I love weaving dream catchers in driftwood and carving feathers in wood. I enjoy sewing baby quits and designing purses too. In addition, I do crafts of all sorts with many materials. Actually, I make everything I can from my living room curtains to the funky key hook at the front door. Back to art, the occasional themed art show sparks new ideas I may never have done. For instance, the 2018 Spring show in Hammond when I created a steampunk wheelchair with a parasol.

I have a long history of expressing myself artistically. Literature was the first artistic form that woke my inner need to create. When I was a girl, my imagination would play rewriting the ends of stories and creating new worlds. As a teenager, I feed my creative spirit through the lens of an old 35. Photography and beading were my main means of expression while, I dabbled in drawing and poetry.  Then in college, I dove deeper into photography and gained more skill with beads. I took classes in dance and oil painting, learning new techniques. After school, I continued creatively expressing myself primarily through photography and bead work. In my early thirties, I returned to the power of words with poetry. I continued creating artistically too.

A couple of years ago, I put aside my beading loom and packed up my paints and brushes. Occasionally, one is needed for an art project otherwise I’m taking a break from them. The majority of my art is intertwined with poetry. In some instances, an art piece is based off a poem while others have poems written for them. My muse is life itself.  My poetic writings and artistic touches reflect the diverse upbringing I had along with my Ojibwe roots and the ponderings I have being a forty something American woman living with the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. I am a poet and multimedia artist expressing my thoughts and perceptions as they grow from ideas into poems and visual creations.

I share my voice with you.


©Copyright River Maria Urke. All rights reserved.

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