There are many reasons to celebrate and honor Carolyn Osborne, the Washington-based Spirited Woman, one of two winners in our blog Comment Contest for her heartfelt and empowering response to blogger Kristin Flannery’s post about the Rihanna-Chris Brown abuse saga.
Osborne is a mutli-faceted artist of impressive breadth, offering original jewelry and fused glass works, as well as watercolors and charcoal renderings under the name Creative Forces. This former corrections officer has always been an artist, the sensibility seemingly a part of her very bones with art the vehicle through which she was able to comfortably express herself as a shy child. She in fact chose her business name not only because she works in different mediums but because she believes there is a creative force inherent in all of us, whether we bring that energy to writing or working with numbers, communicating with animals or those in the afterlife. Every child, says Osborne, echoing the words of Pablo Picasso, is an artist, and it is the brave, the passionate and the determined who manage to break through society’s expectations and constraints to nurture and hold onto that child and bring those artistic gifts to life.
Fortunately, Osborne had the support of incredible art teachers growing up who pushed her beyond her own perceived limits. She was initially drawn to watercolors and charcoals, finding a certain peace in creating her bold and whimsical works, but curiosity (and a love of unique jewelry) spurred her onto other endeavors as well. Today, in addition to her artwork and brightly colored, unusual jewelry pieces, she also does custom gift baskets and offers a beautiful tribute to pets and loved ones who have passed, creating fused glass pendants with their ashes under a separate umbrella she calls Sacred Embers. The work also allows the space for her own healing in losing her brother to cancer.
Yet for all her remarkable talent as an artist, in talking with Osborne, I got the sense that her greatest work of art may be her daughter Anjelica, herself an artist, and the relationship that they have crafted. Committed to being a strong, positive Spirited Woman who knows her own worth and uses every lesson in life, good or bad, as a teaching tool, Osborne has passed on those ideals to her daughter.
And it is in her deep pride about Anjelica, who will be a sophomore at Santa Clara University in the fall, and her gratitude for the woman she’s become that we see Osborne’s own luminous reflection. What she shared with me about their relationship I offer as a blessing and inspiration for women everywhere, especially mothers raising their daughters and the daughters who look up to them as the powerful, loving role models that they are.
“I have taught my daughter that she is an important person. Her opinions are important and as long as she is respectful, she may voice them,” says Osborne. “I have taught her to never think she can change someone or fix them, that men are amazing friends but you must not give them any special excuses because they are men; they are just people. (Anjelica) is… kind and loving and smart but never weak. She has high expectations of herself and those around her and does not allow people to treat her poorly. That girl will be able to do anything in this world. She is my daughter and my best friend. And the nice thing is she is proud to admit that, even to her friends! I feel that my daughter is responsible for the woman that I am today.”
I’m sure it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Anjelica feels the same way!
- Naila Francis
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