I grew up in CNY's Fingerlakes region. We spent eight weeks of every summer 10 mi. out West Lake Rd. on Skaneateles Lake. My grandfather founded his business in that area and when my parents moved there from New Jersey, he brought his business closer to "camp", too. I spent weekends at the huge Civil war era house my grandparents lived in, searching the attic, hoping for treasure. The one treasure I did learn of was that their home had been a stop on the Underground Railroad. My grandmother showed me the depression in the side garden which was where the helpers sent escaping slaves to a tunnel that led under the street and opened in the back of the cemetery. Between the romance of living in woods on water, having a grandfather who taught me painting on weekends, Art called me. Age 8 I won a Scholastic Art Award, displayed in the Everson Museum. Thanks to an English teacher, also a poet, 8th grade I published two poems. My grandfather died at this time. I lost the one person who believed in me and pushed me as an artist to challenge myself. I did not go to college for what was obvious. I earned a degree in Child & Family studies. I married a surgeon. He saved my life, literally. Later we connected on a personal level. He carried my poem in a pocket for 6 mos. He retired '94, bought a Mac & put my poetry on discs. Years passed. We moved far from our Syracuse Univ. home in almost wilderness in Madison county. Illness damaged our marriage beyond repair. He moved toTexas. I stayed in the snow. I came out in 2006. He asked me to please "make it" as a poet before he died. My 3rd chapbook releases 2012. My second relationship ended. For years I snapped photos to express art. I loved macro shots of flowers. I accumulated enough to start doing the outdoor show circuit. A friend suggested I try creating ACEO or art trading cards, so I picked up a pen to draw. I met the woman I'm spending the rest of my life with. Last year, I tried art classes. 9 mos. later, I graduated. I have 3 current exhibits.
artwork for sale: http://rachaelikins.com/artwork.htm
Publications for sale: http://rachaelikins.com/publications.htm