Artist Patsy Sherrod's creative journey begins in Texas and ends in Canada.

I grew up daydreaming, decorating my Barbie houses, and spending time at my family’s furniture store in Lubbock, Texas. The decorating and furniture business were a part of my life as far as I can remember!

My husband and I went on to have our own furniture stores in Lubbock, but after many years,  we had this fantasy in the back of our minds about selling everything and immigrating to a foreign country.

When our manager quit, on the spur of the moment, we contacted a company to help us shut down our store.  Business was brisk! Three months later, all stock had been liquidated.

We didn’t know WHERE we wanted to land. Someplace pretty. Someplace that wasn’t hot. We thought of many places, but my mother was still living and I wanted to be close to Texas. With this in mind, thirteen years ago, we moved to Victoria, Canada, with our two sons.

Living in Canada and adapting to a new country.

To live on an island was a dream! Is it foreign? YES!! Oh my gosh, the first years felt like we were running into glass doors all the time. So much we didn’t know.

EVERYTHING seemed different!  Insurance and medical? Completely different. School? Different!  People? Different!!  A sea of new faces. Just the fact that my kids took the ferry for field trips was mind blowing! And we had so much paperwork! The paperwork to immigrate was enough to sink a ship. It took us four years to get landed status, or a permanent residence card. It’s very difficult to immigrate. But eventually, we all became dual citizens!

Two very different worlds...

Texas is the land of big roads, fast cars, and lots of cotton fields. Very Flat. Cold sometimes, but HOT HOT HOT.  And dusty. Walls of dust called haboobs. Totally landlocked.

Football and basketball are huge. No one has ever played rugby. People eat chicken fried steak and Mexican food exclusively. They wear cowboys hats and boots for real. My father always wore black alligator boots.

And then there’s my accent! I have the biggest accent. My mother was a Cajun from Louisiana and my dad a Texan. My accent has an added twang! The panhandle of Texas retains that accent because not many people move there. Austin, Dallas, Houston... they’re much more homogenized.  Anyway, we’re somewhat memorable because the way we sound. Texas is full of BIG personalities. Texas... it’s a land unto itself. And I do love to visit!  Occasionally, we get hassled for being American. We have all felt prejudice at times, and it’s weird to feel it. But it’s okay, because it gives us perspective.

Oak Bay, a part of the city of Victoria, on Vancouver Island, where we now live, is on a point of land that juts into the Salish Sea. I’ve got beaches all around me. And we knew we could fix the house we bought and make it pretty, and comfy, and roomy.  We did a lot of the work ourselves.

There were so many challenges, but we persevered, and we thank our lucky stars every day to be dual citizens of both Canada and the USA.

Interior decorating and the Funkeration Manufactory.

For many years, I decorated people’s houses and bought all sorts of items to stock the shelves of my store, so I had lots of experience with colours and the proportion of things.

I was always artsy, but I never considered myself an artist. Rather, I was a craftsperson: I painted my walls different colours every year or two, marbleized my floors and bannisters, and stencilled my postage stamp sized entry. However, I also had smaller projects on the go such as miniatures, jewelry, cards and tags in my studio—headquarters for what I call Funkeration Manufactory.

My mother collected all kinds of things, and I’m a collector too.  For instance, I have a lot of old French quimper pottery (my mother’s influence), as well as many plates on my walls. I also have a collection of wood carvings.  I love Fornasetti and I love folk art.  Our house is colourful!  As a professed a rockhound, I search for rocks on my beach!!  Victoria has a unique rock called Dallasite which I like.

Patsy finds art when life is challenging.

This past decade was, at times, filled with some heavy things. My mother died, my husband and sons faced health challenges (they’re fine now!) and I was injured in an accident.

I was in a bit of a rough spot. But a couple of years ago I met a funny lady who teaches art, and she asked me to come to her class. It was just the balm I needed to soothe my soul! Oh Art, how I love you!

I began painting like mad at that point whether it was watercolour letters or acrylic art on canvasses. My studio has always had ample art supplies, but it’s now filled with paints and an easel! I enjoy the weird and the funny. Some of my art is sweet and straightforward, but I very much like the unexpected.

Until recently it wasn’t unusual for me to have paints in the bed as I watched tv with my husband in the evenings. Water pens, brushes, paper towels, tins of paint, a canvas or huge pad of paper, plus a couple of dogs, filled our bed.

Experimenting with digital art

Recently, my husband gifted me a new iPad with Apple Pencil, and I’ve begun working on the art app Procreate. It’s so much fun and there’s no mess! The animation feature is delightful!

I draw or paint as much as possible. It makes me feel good. I like seeing the direction my paintings and drawings take, because sometimes I feel I’m just along for the ride.

There are always ideas and inspiration on Instagram from the art challenges, which I enjoy. You can find me @funkeration on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!

If you would like to share your creative story here, please contact me and I will send you an information letter with the requirements for appearing in this space. I publish two artists/creatives each month. Presently, I am looking for artists/creatives for April - May.

To view other artists who have been featured on my website in the last 2.5 years, please visit the Guest Artist page. I am grateful for all the talented, productive artists and creatives from all over the world (photographer, author...) who have appeared on Louise's ARTiculations. Many of them remain in my circle of friends on social media sites, and some, I have even met in person.

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