If you would like to be featured here, send me an email and I will send you the list of questions/prompts.
Today's interview is with Meg Brown:
1. A little bit about your background, where did you grow up, where do you
live now, education, family, etc..
I grew up in San Francisco, Lake County (near Kelsey Creek) and Australia I am from a family of seven children. My mother was an artist that did watercolor, carving of wood and lettering, as well as being a home maker and amazing cook. My grandfather was a doctor and an artist. His medium was watercolor and some portrait oils. I now live in Davis, California helping care for my mother-in-law, Ruth, 97, who has severe dementia. My husband and my son do an amazing job being part of the care team. I am learning and trying to practice unconditional love.
2. What was your first work of art & how old were you?
I have very clear memories of sitting at my Kelsey Creek and molding things out of clay. I was around 5. I also have memories of drawings being put on the fridge in Australia. When I was 7, I drew a picture to a story by Dr. Seuss, and to think that I saw that on Mulberry Street. The teacher
entered it in a contest and I remember being on TV with my picture. I never have really felt I could draw. I use drawing to discover my feelings.
3. What did you do for fun as a teenager?
I was a teenager in the 60's... my school was 4 blocks from the Haight. The National Guard came my junior year because we were having riots at the school. I walked with about 1300 students to the Civic Center to request black history in the text books and in the library. Many students were going off to Vietnam. Ninety fellow students became pregnant my freshman year. There was no education about birth control. I ran for class President and by the end of my time there there was birth control information in all the PE classes, even though the Girls Dean was totally against it in the beginning.
Another minor victory was when I first
started at Poly, girls were sent home if their skirts were not below the knee. There was a kneeling test.... By my senior year we could wear shorts
(probably because our skirts were so short.) I was on a fencing team, Northern California Champs, volley ball team, basketball team, the first city girls track team, and I was a model.
Boys and dates were fun.
My goal was to go to Davis, so I took mostly AP Classes so my art was used making posters, decorating for dances. My mother let me use her wheel and kiln to do clay in her downstairs art room. I guess that started when I was about 13 and I would go to her art room to disappear and play with the clay.
4. What and when was your first job?
Baby sitting at 8 years old.
5. What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?
Our sixth grade teacher was retiring and I was asked to paint her portrait. I loved doing that because I really admired and respected her. I was paid 10 cents a letter for lettering. I loved putting together graphic books for educators that were giving talks. I love making bowls for bowl parties. I made 250 cups (Raku) for the first Whole Earth Day at UCD and had an amazing toast with our class. It was wonderful transforming rooms for dances and events. We had happenings and they were amazing.
6. Who was the first artist to influence you?
My mother and my grandfather.
7. What art movements do you relate to?
8. How has your work changed?
I am doing a lot of fiber arts right now. Natural dying, oxalis is starting to bloom and that makes lovely yellows, orange, greens. I am learning to weave. I have been spinning and I am learning Navajo spinning. I am also doing some creative spinning. I knit and create energy clothing, mostly shawltars. UCD Craft Center lets me work and teach there. I have been doing handbuilding using nature and form as a focus.
9. What things do you not like to do.
I don't like to clean up vomit.
10. Most significant project or accomplishment?
I don't think I have one. I enjoyed helping put together the art shows; Birth of a Spirit, Doors and Windows Opening, Chairs with a Voice and doing the Art and Garden Show. I have enjoyed doing Open Studios.
I loved helping start the homeschool program in Santa Cruz. I was able to
start a clay studio at Loma Prieta and at Small Schools. I don't think of my family as a project but they are really important to me.
I have had goals most of my life. Get A's, get into school, do open studio, create a show, make pots, start a school, start a non-profit, write a grant, support and love my husband and children (which I continue to do) and now I am very day-to-day with caring for Ruth. Art has become my place of sanity. When Evelyn asked me to do this interview, I thought what am I doing???? What I do is day-to-day.... I have been in Davis doing elder
care for almost 6 years. So for now, I don't have a goal. I am looking forward to dying some wool, silk and cotton, spinning it and making a weaving. I have some pots made on an amazing gourd that are ready for glazing. I hope to have a pot luck dinner with friends when they are finished. I have a new clay that has mica sparkles. I am experimenting
with using it to burnish pots to make it go farther. I have a children's book wanting to come into the world. I am thinking of doing an edit on Pots from the Creek.
Veggies and protein are my focus right now. I have gained weight and that
is a problem for me. I am open to suggestions. The Happiness diet is my
13. What are your favorite movies/tv shows?
Jon Stewart and the Daily Show, Stephen Colbert Report.
14. Do you believe in magic? Why or why not?
Yes, I do believe in magic, because I love illusion.
15. Should there be censorship?
I think there should be self-censorship. I am often glad when I keep my
mouth shut. I want to learn non-violent communication.
16. What advice would you give to others?
Listen to your inner being.