One of my earliest dreams - to be an Artist with a capital "A" - to create, to express in visual form my continual wonder at the world and people around me. When I am not "art-ing" for long periods of time, I become somewhat numb and not quite as alive as I am when producing art on a regular basis. Pablo Picasso stated it quite succinctly when he said, "To draw you must close your eyes and sing." Exactly! Because when I draw, I turn inward, and my entire being "sings". It isn't that I've ever stopped being an artist; it's just that pursuing art isn't often encouraged. The mental image of the "starving artist" is definitely embedded into our collective psyche.
And Life has this tendency to push and pull one different directions at times - and I became a teacher in the public school system. At first, I taught both English and History, but I couldn't stay away from visual art and incorporated it in many forms in those classes as often as I could until I finally returned more fully to what I have been doing all along. I began to sell my art sporadically and eventually changed my teaching field to Visual Art and Visual Art alone. I so enjoy sharing my love of art with others whether it is through teaching it or creating it as an individual. Teaching is fulfilling and purposeful, and I wouldn't trade that satisfaction I've earned from it for anything. But. Ultimately. My inner self - my inner child - my inner psyche. My hopes and dreams. My strong gut feeling has continually insisted that I draw, paint, sketch, sculpt..... create.
Deep breath. And I step off the edge of my metaphorical precipice... and jump in. So I present to the world my art via this website. In many respects, this site has been a lot like beginning a new artwork.
The first mark on a blank canvas is the scariest. I even hold my breath without realizing it until I inhale sharply causing a quick pain in my chest.
Recently I had been asked by my friend and her fiancé to complete a piece for their wedding. An enormous piece I might add: 30”x40” canvas. I enjoy working large…no…scotch that… I LOVE working on huge artworks. They are my very favorite! I know, 30”x40” isn’t considered that large by many, but understand first that as an art teacher I have been constrained in the past to doing example pieces for/with my students, and usually in the easy to carry and finish size of 18”x24”, sometimes even smaller.
So, on the first morning, I prepped the canvas with white acrylic, excited to not only be doing this for Christy, but pretty much euphoric about the size – and the subject matter. The request? Do an artwork in the style of Lora Zombie – include the bride and groom in the picture – leaving room for the wedding guests to sign all of their names in multicolored fine point Sharpie. What a very cool idea! I couldn’t wait to get started! Of course, Lora Zombie works with watercolor, not acrylic, so the main challenge was to convey the same feeling using the different media. Challenge accepted.
And challenge also accepted, even though it was a personal challenge, to get my hopes and dreams to run, and jump.... and fly.