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Art & Inspiration

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Art & Inspiration

Author: Souther

Co-Author: Diane Elliott

Photographer: Linda Griffith

It seems I'm forever asked where I get my ideas for jewelry and structures. Art & Inspiration, a coffee table memoir, was written to answer that question. Last April, on a three week, 7,500 + mile marketing trip, my collaborative author (who happens to be my mother Diane Elliott, an award winning author) and I wrote two thirds of this book. Back home, photographer and grant writer Linda Mitchell Griffith agreed to photograph the pieces for the book as well as design the layout.

As a jewelry artist and registered architect (licensed in two states and LEED Accredited Professional), my hands and my eyes are the most important assets I own. In 2001 I was first diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). I didn't pay attention because the doctor said, "it will be years before you have anything to worry about." In fact I'd forgotten about it. Nine years later I changed eye doctors and this doctor was horrified that I was doing nothing for my AMD. He sent me to a retina specialist and she mapped my eyes. The macula in both eyes showed drusen, but being the dry type, she could do nothing. I told my mother and son about it. Mother began to cry. My son held her tight putting everything in perspective by saying, "Amah, it's her sight, not her mind."

Art & Inspiration

Eventually I found AMD.org, Macular Degeneration Partnership, and discovered several things I could do to help slow the progress ofAMD. I signed up for their newsleter to keep abreast of research and clinical trials that they monitor. I found a wealth of information on what I can do now as well as what might be in store for me in my future. After my second diagnosis, I knew I wanted to create as much as I could in the sighted years I have left. Even then I had the urge to do something to further research on macular degeneration.

In trials, Fenretinide looked promising as a dry AMD treatment. This may never come to market due to lack of research funding. Our eventual goal is to raise funds through the sale and promotion of this book to advance research into AMD.

Awards and Recognition

da Vinci Award
da Vinci Award
Eric Hoffer Award
Eric Hoffer Award
Indie Excellence
Indie Excellence


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Current Reviews (newest first)

  • This book is like being able to sit down with the writer and allows you to experience each piece of art

    fully, as if in the moment it was created. Souther weaves her emotions through her beautifully detailed

    bead work. This book has a way of getting under your skin and leaves you with an understanding of who

    the artist is. The jewelry is captured beautiful allowing you to fully appreciate her work. This inspiring

    book takes you on her journey as an artist.

    Dr. Jacqueline Brown, OD, October 14, 2014