Although I have established my foothold in the arts as a painter, textiles have become increasingly important to my work. I initially learned how to do Navajo-style weaving in 2003 from my grandmother, but it wasn't until recently that I became serious about pursuing this art form. Realizing what an honor it would be to continue this tradition, I decided to incorporate Navajo weaving into my work. Since the Fall of 2011, I have been developing a new series that is inspired by the stories and traditions of my family. Many of these pieces combine painting on canvas with fabric. Four of them also incorporate Navajo weaving. I consider these four works to be my first few pieces in a life-long body of work. Each material has its own history, and each art form is tied to my maternal lineage. By combining them, I am acknowledging and examining these various historical threads and how they have affected and influenced my life. I consider how my body and personality are the accumulating effects of my ancestors--their blood, stories, joys and struggles. I reflect on the ways in which colonization has impacted my family and how it currently impacts my life. Through my work I make the link between myself, my immediate family, my relatives and ancestors. I consider my place in the world and how the thread of my family's story is a part of a much grander tapestry that was created and is sustained by the forces of nature. I am exhibiting this developing body of work at my premiere solo exhibit called Shijéí/My Heart: Mixed Media Works by Carolyn Lee Anderson at All My Relations Gallery of Minneapolis April 13-May 25.