My Parents Always Urged Me to Follow My Dream

Amy Hook-Therrien's artistic journey began with parents who picked up pebbles, knew their trees, and taught their daughter about the natural world

I am Amy Hook-Therrien, a native Vermont artist. I work with pen and watercolor. When I first started working with watercolor I was so nervous to not be able to control the medium. Once I figured out that you have to let it do what it wants to do, and try not to harness the chaos, it got much easier to work with.

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My parents always urged me to follow my dream of becoming an artist. I was really lucky that way. There was no talk about being able to make a living or urging me to go into a field that might make me a great deal of money. They wanted me to study art in college, and gave me encouragement the whole time. They are the reason I am an artist today.

I have always been inspired by nature. Growing up in Chelsea, Vermont, on top of a hill surrounded by acres of woods to explore helped feed my curious mind. My dad would come home after work and we would go for walks. He would point out trees and tell me their names. He would help me gather tiny twigs and moss for my little café that I would set up on a fallen log. He helped me to grow my imagination, always helping me come up with fantasy lands and creating worlds all our own. He taught me how to work with my hands to create things.

My stepdad, Doug, taught me the importance of patience, and how to love and respect the outdoors. Being able to sit still and quiet and just wait for something, for anything to happen. Making sure I had certain skills that everyone should have. He is the person who will always be the most excited when someone else catches a big fish.

My mom taught me different skills in arts and in crafts. We were always working on a new project together. She always encouraged me to try new things. She always helps me to see the world differently. Always looking at the small things. Picking up potsherds in the river, or small rocks on the road. She and I are collectors, collectors of small objects, art supplies, plants and stories. When she asked me to illustrate her book of short stories I was so honored and excited to be part of her project. I’m excited to have her stories out in the world and have my illustrations help translate them in a visual medium. The book will be about what it was like for my mom to grow up in a small town in Vermont. 

Amy Hook-Therrien earned her BFA at the University of Maine. She and her husband now live in Windsor, Vermont. When she is not creating art, Amy loves to travel, hike, garden, and spend time with her family. You can follow her via her blog, her Facebook page, and Instagram

For further reading: 

The Road Crew: A very short story by Shirly Hook

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