My first memory of creating art was when, as a child, I took a painting class at a museum in Balboa Park, San Diego. I was a lot younger than everyone else that was there and I felt like a fish out of water. I was trying to paint a cat and I just couldn’t get it right…not the way I wanted to. I stopped painting after that and it was years before I picked up a brush again. I went on to study art history in college, always wanting art to be a part of my life, but convinced I didn’t have what it took to be an artist.
My most profound experience as an artist was when, after teaching art to children for years, I finally picked up my brush again and drew and painted my first nude. It felt like suddenly there was oxygen in my tank and I could breathe.
There is something about painting nudes, both men and women, that gives me a sense of belonging in the world. I am a woman with both male and female aspects equally represented in my personality. That blending of the male and female in myself is what I try to convey in my art. I paint strong, sensual women who own and celebrate their own bodies and their juiciness. I paint vulnerable, tender men who reject or don’t fit with the masculine paradigm that dictates men need to be tough, that they can’t cry, show weakness or be sensitive. Pushing at these archetypes is my passion. It is who I am as an artist and a human.
So i shared my why earlier, due to abuse in past relationship, and other traumatic events in my life, Art is the only therapy that helps me emotionally and mentally,if i did not have art i don’t think I could make it. My main medium is digital painting, then oil pastels, acrylics ahhhh is all i can say about it, dabbling in water color now… And about to release my Horsey 🐴 collection, a set of 4 that will be framed sold together or individually. BTW i love horses, that is another therapy I did when I was younger, I showed them for a summer western and side saddle… I guess that’s a form of art too…
My why is because I have always had this push pull between being invisible because that is safe and bursting out in color. My art gives me a safe place to be colorful without letting people into my physical space.
1. First memory connected to making art was melting crayons and watching them drip down the radiator. Mom was not happy. I must have been only 5 or so maybe younger. Then watching watercolor dissolve in a little baby food jars–just adding paint so I could watch it swirl. Simply coloring in coloring books and choosing fun colors seemed to be ‘different’. I was one of nine kids and I found early on I could draw things I looked at and that was that. I would be an artist. So many people complimented me but I had no idea even after college of how to make this happen as a career til 5 years ago.
2. My most profound experience was helping an adult student visualize a way through her personal crisis by suggesting that a gold thread be woven through old photos and then continue on toward and through new photos of her current family. The thread representing her husband’s spirit still supporting her as she finds a new way. In this case it was not my work but my idea of how to help her use her art skills to move forward. More powerful than I even realized at the time. I was simply helping solve a problem.
3. I see the ‘melting crayon’ and gold thread connected by ‘watching’ what happens and offering options. Also there is a spiritual side to this moving experience that now that I think about it my Christian faith talks about using your gifts for good. This has also had an influence on pushing me ahead in my work. My Why is that I am fascinated by how my mind works out issues connected with making artwork. I never know the result before I begin. And that is endlessly fun and engaging. I don’t enjoy repeating myself so my process tends to allow for change and new ideas. People seem to really enjoy my approach to changing things up–and they still know its my work–many have said my work makes them Happy. And that feels great.
I’m coming in late and missed the first video but reading the comments I think I’ve grasped it? Two memories really stick out f ok r me and made me identify as an artist. The first about 3 or 4 and was sitting in my father’s butcher’s shop for hours whilst mother served customers. I would be put on a table in the corner but facing into the shop and given crayons and pencils to draw with on large sheets of newsprint (butchers wrapping paper) Customers would come in and encourage me…I must have looked so cute on a high stool with pigtails!
The second was a couple of years later at school and I did a painting of a jungle..I can picture it now 55 years later. It won a prize and was put on the wall. I was so proud! I didn’t speak until I was five years old….I have only just made the connection….I was talking through my art!!! My most profound moment was when as a teacher I had a student who said she couldnt go onto study art as she was her parents carer. They were both suffering from mental health issues. I was determined she should reach her potential and paved the way for her to do so . Fast forward four years and I watched her graduate with her parents watching on proudly…it was the last year of my teaching career and made the 25 years I spent teaching Art and Design worthwhile. ..art can transform lives..The connection? Power of Art to transform? Art enabled my childhood self to communicate, it enabled my student to become her true self,…
I have loved art as long as I can remember. It is a love that was inspired by my grandma “Mac” who was an oil painter. I remember admiring her paintings as a child, especially her floral paintings, and dreaming of becoming an artist one day. While I had this dream and love of art, I didn’t know what it’s purpose was, what I was supposed to do with that love and skill. That all changed during the fall of 2014 as I took a drawing class in pursuit of a Masters degree. As I wrestled with what to draw, an idea emerged that allowed me to combine three things that I love dearly, to connect deeply with the past, and to use all of that to communicate a message of light, love, and hope. It’s an idea and a series that I call “Enduring Roots”. This series features my love of flowers that has been passed down through generations of my family. I see them as reminders of God’s love. Layered behind those flowers are Celtic cross designs that celebrate my Irish heritage, which I have loved and been very proud of since childhood, and my Christian faith. Using the symbolisms of the flowers and Celtic designs, I seek to communicate a message of the light, love, and hope of Christ. I feel as though a major purpose for my life and artistic skill has been unlocked – sharing the love of Christ through symbolisms in my work while connecting with previous generations of my family. What a joy!! Faith, flowers, and heritage – these are the “Enduring Roots” of my life, the “roots” from which I grow, the heirlooms of my ancestors, the legacy of my family.
When I think about art making I like to remove the word ‘art’ and think about the making. My childhood art classes always focused on producing something with a prescribed method or a known outcome. All my excitement came from the obsessive hours I spent outside the classroom, roaming the landscape in search of raw materials which were unpackaged and, for the most part, unlimited. If what I came up with after combining tree branches, gum wrappers, bits of cloth, broken stones, or rusted metal was art, I never knew it. All I knew was the heart thumping bliss of dissolving into the exploration of the different substances themselves, their limitations and advantages. Decades later I had the chance to teach 5&6 year old students in a diverse range of art class settings. As an adult I could see how it was possible for children at that age to have the hand skills to work out an idea without the straightjacketed notion that there is a right or wrong to their results. They did not feel watched or by extension, compared. I saw the magic of that place, as they pushed and failed and re-tried; the abandoning of self connecting them with something wholly generous. There is an expansion in the de-knowing. It breathes outside of definition in the work I love.
For me art is the best way to connect with life. Being connected means to feel present, awake and alive. Artistic activity involves always the hands which create sth. that cannot be completely controlled by the rational mind. Through art it comes to a connection of spiritual and sensual experiences, expressed in the metaphor of heaven and earth. The artistic activity is for me the most meaningful way to find my place in life. It is the means to selfexperience and selfknowlegde. Life contains beautiful and terrible experiences. Art can express both. My motivation to do art is to create sth.beautiful that says: I am thankful to be in this life. Artistic expression is a way of awakening beyond religious doctrines. It is free and lets free. In art everything can be but everything is directed toward joy and enlightment.
As a child I was always drawing, painting, sketching, from a toddler right through school! I did a foundation year and then Graphic Design degree, specialising in typography and information design… I was told not ‘good enough’ to do illustration. So my career continued, fabulous companies and clients and I do love the typography with a passion! My mum died very suddenly, and at a young age of 51 years, which affected us all. I missed her terribly and still do. My life continued, marriage, two children, I worked in the art department of a high school for eight years, as a technician, in order to get the same holidays as my children.
At the age of 50 it suddenly struck me… what if I died at 51? what if I only had a year left to live? what would i spend that last year doing.. what passion would I persue?
I resigned from my school job on that same day, typed up the letter and gave a month’s notice. I didn’t even know what it would be, but I knew I had something creative (and long neglected!) inside just raring to be free. So ensued a year of trying out different media, drawing, painting, sketchbook experiments, and finally I got butterflies working with some old papers and collaging, and that is what I have developed into my own ‘artist voice’… creating colourful illustrations on vintage papers and maps, which have a touch of humour and are so fun to do! So glad I took that leap of faith and hope my mum would be proud.
I was an artist entrepenuer at age 6-7 when I went door to door selling custom commissions for childrens bedrooms. I had cardboard, construction paper and scissors. Once I had my plan, I needed help and recruited my neighbor across the street to be on my staff. She cut out the letters of the kids names and I created the designs. It was great until girl scout cookies came along— I made more sales with cookies than art and abandoned my art business. In Junior High, my family went through trauma with my mom passing away from cancer and the art class was my respite. I was shocked when my teacher took my art to school district art events and I won awards and sold jewelry. $25.00 was a lot of money at that time. In my 20’s I started a business called Art D’jour. My main goal was to make art, sell it but NOT have it be my primary source of income. 5 years ago when I turned 50, I become a prolific artist. The business of being a non profit executive leader burned me out after 15 years. When I left that career, I looked around my house, studio and basement and realized I had over 500 paintings. So, I decided to take a leap of faith and do it full time. That is where i am today! I am commited to making this work, but I do get overwhelmed with all of the options and opportunities. i am grateful to be a part of this group so that I can get the support and focus I need to succeed!
My art journey began following an anniversary trip to Italy with my wife. For the first time, I saw art physically place where the artist had intended the art to be. A Michelangelo sculpture in a specifc church nave, the frescoes at the Vatican, etc. It sparked my curiousity. What was the artist thinking? How did they do that? Upon returned home I began to paint, at first as an exercise to see what the materials were about and to understand how the painting process worked. Eventually that intellectual search morphed into a deeper passion for the act of creating paintings. I found myself deeply and passionately involved in the act of bring new creations into the world that nobody else could ever create. My work progressed from traditional realism into pure and today I view my paitings as visual expressions of the workings of my mind. I still harken back to the earliest questions about art – how and why did they do that, only now I find myself asking how and why did I do that?
I’ve always reacted to most art in a very personal way, from the sand candles I made as a child in sports camp to the eerie painting in my parents’ living room. It is this connection which has always driven me to complete a piece…to see how my art connects with others. I also love having the supplies in front of me and see how they are used, or discarded, as I create. My years as an art teacher were some of the best years of my life. I was inspired and inspired others and we all grew in the most amazing ways!
My earliest memories are when when I was about four or five years old, growing up in Europe. My father was an executive for the German Airline, Lufthansa. So we moved a lot. I grew up in Bucharest, Munich, and Oslo as well as traveling back and forth to the United States, where my mother is from. Art was always a big part of my life as a child. Moving and traveling a lot I didn’t have much opportunity to make many friends or fluently learn the languages in the countries I was in before having to move again. My solitary lifestyle as a child gave me a lot of opportunity to dream and make believe just as a way of entertaining myself, and I would use my painting and drawing as a way to express my dreams into the physical world. I dreamed about finding a Prince Charming, and becoming a professional artist living in New York City. I was a hopeful romantic and I would express that in my artwork.
After my father died; I lost sight of my dreams, and any vision for the future. We had fallen on hard times, and my future was put on hold; but my art still became a great comfort in my life.
Then about 4 years ago; I discovered an actor who was based in New York City, who had somehow awoken the sleeping dragon inside of me.
One night I had had a profound and powerful dream about dancing a tango with him in a New York nightclub. I had the same dream two nights in a row, and after the second night; I woke up the next morning energized, and with a strong desire and passion to achieve chase those childhood ambitions that I had given up on, with new enthusiasm and determination.
My art inspires me, and is a representation of my gratefulness and gratitude to God, and the Universe for a second chance to dream without boundaries. It is a celebration of life, humanity, and that inspires me to create things for a beautiful world for others to enjoy and have fun doing it.
My first memory connected to creating art was in high school. I know I was doing art before that, but I have no memories. You see, when I was little, my mother was either passed out or drunk. I have many memories of hiding from her. I had to hide at school during a program that she walked in to acting belligerent, I had to hide after jumping out of her moving car when she came looking for me, and I had to hide in my own house when things got crazy. My parents divorced when I was 11 and my mother moved out. After that I continued to hide, not wanting to be seen. I remember hunkering down in my bedroom, creating pictures of how I was feeling, dark figures and journaling phrases around them. In high school I felt safe to be seen in art classes. My art teacher encouraged me to pursue art as a career but my dad didn’t. It wasn’t until many years later that I found myself in another art class and a lightbulb went off in my heart and soul. I knew then that art was back to help me heal from all that time of being afraid to be seen. My mother didn’t say it often, but she told me she loved me just a few months before she died when I was in my 20’s. Forgiveness is a practice.
My most profound experience as an artist would have to be my first art show, where my work was on display for everyone to see, and I was seen as the artist.
These go together in simply being seen. There’s shame and fear and sadness in my story and I am creating art to heal myself, to say sorry to my mother, and to try to express what my true self is trying to tell me.
First memory connected to making art:
I can’t remember an exact memory as I was always drawing. painting and collecting from nature – but I do remember specifically loving making collage arrangements with natural elements that I had found, like pine cones, leaves, acorns, twigs, sand, shells and Playdoh – Which got in the carpet, my hair, my mouth, (play doh was yum back then!) everywhere!
Profound Experience as an artist in my life:
Stumbling into my style and just knowing I had finally connected with something true to me, after getting lost in the expectations of others even through art school. It was the return to the joy of discovery, especially the beauty of natural textures and forms and bringing each form to life.
I guess I freaking love natural, organic elements and arranging them in a way that is my own- it makes me feel connected to the world. Part of something bigger then myself. Discovering and experiencing our earth! Oh my gosh! That was cool! Thanks Alexis! I never would have connected it like that!
I know I am late, but I did a number of drafts. This exercise really made me think hard and deep.
My first memory of creating art was drawing a plane on the family kitchen chalkboard when I was four.
Doing the painting of being in the Kilauea caldera was a significant experience. I first hiked into the crater and there I could feel the smallness of myself when compared to nature. I did a plein air painting study, and took reference photos. I came home determined that I was going to do my best for the final larger painting. I did a value study, and a quick color study. The work had the basics of a landscape painting; something close, something in the middle distance, and something really far. I commenced the final by painting in the values. When the values were done, I then tried to match the colors with the appropriate value. For the colors, I used a limited palette of red, yellow, blue, and white. All of the colors were related because every hue had a little bit of all three main colors. Even the oil paint was of the best quality. When the work was done, I felt that I had really grown and matured.
How are the two connected?
The two reveal that I really love art, and the special qualities of my island home.
I use art to show the love I have for my island home. Often I will try to find those special, the out of the ordinary subject matter that can only be found here where I live.
My first memory of my art creations lies in my childhood, when art and creativity was a way of life, based on necessity. Growing up in the ruins of World War II we lived with perpetual lack of resources. We did not purchase items, we made items preferably from natural materials. We made gifts the recipients were delighted over. I considered a purchased gift for someone to be a heartless gift, because anybody can BUY a gift. But a handmade gift is something that is meaningful, because it comes from the heart.
My most profound experience as an artist in my life, stems from strangers looking at my art in complete amazement. Observing people enthralled by what they see on my wall, fills me with gratitude. Gratitude to connect heart to heart with with the world through my art.
My Art touches people, my Art brightens people’s lives.
What is the first memory you have connected to creating art?
Pleasing my mother with my art. She was a troubled person and even at a very young age I knew she was profoundly unhappy. I remember that my drawing and coloring seemed to bring her out of her unhappiness (if only for a little while) and she was genuinely delighted with my works (she was also an artistic person). It was a way to connect with her that only she and I shared.
What is the most profound experience you’ve had as an artist in your life (if you had to pick just one, in this moment?)
Making the highest grade in the entire school during the only art course I have even taken. In 10th grade I had an art teacher by the name of DC Rowell. I will never forget him and I’m 59 now. He was a rather prickly person and hard to please. He rarely praised anyone but he knew his stuff. I learned a lot from him. In school I was the classic “Wall Flower” and I was used to not being seen (in fact, preferred it that way). His last assignment for the year was a still life that he set up for us. In the middle of it was a space that he said we could put whatever we wanted in there. Everyone else was painting a large blue bowl or vase but I left my space for last. I didn’t know what I wanted to put there but I knew that a large bright blue object just didn’t go with the scheme/tone of the painting. Eventually I decided to paint an off white with green accent jar that had a slightly luminous quality there. I was teased publicly in class for doing something so different and when I wilted slightly (doubting myself) Mr. Rowell told my tormentors to be quiet and leave me alone. He looked at me and nodded slightly as if to say “Carry on”. Which earned me a glare from my classmates. We all finished and a few days later, the paintings were displayed in the halls with our grades. I remember my friend running up to me, very excited, telling me that I got the highest grade out of all Mr. Rowell’s classes. The ENTIRE SCHOOL! That he was telling people that I was the most naturally talented student he had ever had! I nearly cried from joy! During that day, several teachers asked to buy my painting but I refused to sell it. It meant that much to me. I have it on my wall to this day.
How are the two connected?
My talent gives me joy and I love sharing that joy.
What is your why?
As I said, I’m 59 and I have put off my personal happiness for the most part, my entire adult life. I still work 2 jobs to make ends meet. I long for the day that I can paint all the works I have floating around in my head and time is running out. I know that unless I win the lottery (highly doubtful, LOL)I will need to be able to generate income (more that I do as a very part time artist). That is my dream.
1st Memory is of my grandmothers apartment at the top of a huge church where my grandfather was the maintenance man. I made things with materials that my grandmother gave me. She was in a wheel chair after suffering from a stroke that rendered her dancing legs useless. I made a wire figure with button head, hands and feet of different sizes. It was clothed in a rectangle of yellow fabric and hair from burlap threads. I still have it.
My why – Since trying color pencils at age 5 I became fascinated with colors. Encouraged by my grandfather, amateur artist, I started draw and paint. At early teens I saw a reproduction of a painting in astronomy textbook depicting a landscape of an alien planet with 2 suns – a blue giant and a red dwarf and was so impressed by that, that I thought I want to be an astronomer. Well, I became a physicist but still continued making art. Doing both things separately was fun, interesting, but something was missing. Growing up in a country of “socialist realism” I didn’t even think to make “unrealistic” art. Only recently I finally figured what my passion is – making astronomical and sci-fi art! Last year I even became a member of an international assoc. of astronomical artists. In past 7-8 years I sold on-line mostly quite a few small “traditional” paintings and now I hope to be able to find my buyers and sell my art on a bigger scale.
My mother was a musician and very creative but she was a woman of few words The Metropolitan Opera was always on the radio Saturday mornings when we cleaned the house and I remember sitting at the piano with her playing simple duets. She played the hard parts and I traveled along with the easy ones. But she knew music wouldn’t be my love. (I hated to practice).
We lived in West Texas so I was far from any museums. Life and Look magazines gave me the opportunity to see the great Art world outside. As far back as elementary school mother was silently supportive of any creative thing I did. As a little girl cutting and gluing shoeboxes to make houses and cities was the first creative thing I remember doing; I left them on the floor, along with my crayons, in my bedroom for weeks. She found art teaches outside of school for me to take classes. She worked full time so often it filled the hours before she came home. I have done some type of art making as long as I can remember.
My most profound art experience was leaving home alone at 19 to move to NYC. I was a rebel and probably a disappointment to my parents, especially my father; I never got any praise from him! I recall heading to the Guggenheim museum as soon as I could to see the Calder stabile exhibition. Things were free in those days so I could spend the days I wasn’t working strolling around the Great museums. I wasn’t making art but I was a sponge. Alone in NYC didn’t seem all that profound but I doubt I would have had the education I got if I had followed friends to college.
The connection between the memories and the profound art experience of moving away is the reason art is such a part of me. If (I’m not fond of Ifs) I hadn’t had the experiences over my lifetime I wouldn’t feel the need to pass on my knowledge as an art historian and a painter. I realize now, more than ever, that educating people about the pleasures of painting and art history is my purpose.
Being the youngest of three girls going through school I was always compared. Your older sister is better than you at this or at that.. it was soul destroying to have to compete. It was a time when parents weren’t as involved with the in and outs of school and were happy basically that you went to school. So off I go to a maths class or an English class and sit and wait for the onslaught ( well that’s what it felt like at 13) of comparison. “ well you certainly didn’t get your sisters ability to add and subtract did you Samantha”. Nope I really didn’t. Then one day I was painting in an art class and I can still see that painting in my head. A cloud with an eye in it crying. My teacher came up to me and praised me and made my feel like an individual. This was my thing something my sisters couldn’t do so it compelled me. I got through school and life got in the way. Children to raise and life to move forward with. Not compared anymore but in the throws of life one becomes intrinsically involved in everyone’s lives in the family. Now, an empty nester I am finding my individuality again and have found my love of painting and my desire now to share it.
MY WHY: For me, creating art is an act of rebellion. I am rebelling against the notion that my life has two possible paths: a “responsible” path, or a creative path. My mother is an artist, and growing up, I believe her worst fear was that one of us becomes an artist – my dad felt it too. I fully believe that it is borne from materialism and their very skewed sense of what success looks like, and what happiness looks like. I was good at math and good in school and I think they thought, with a sigh of relief, “Oh good, she doesn’t have to be an artist.”
They kept me out of art classes until my senior year of high school, where I managed to deceive them and took 4 hours of art a day (and skipped out on some math). They said they would not support me financially in college if I pursued art, so I went a somewhat adjacent direction: architecture (which I grew to hate once I was in the field).
I can’t blame them for wanting the best for me, but I am in my 30s now and have used the past 15 years to try to break myself of the feeling that my talent is worthless (monetarily or otherwise). I want to view it as a source of strength, rather than a waste. I never even visualized myself as an artist as I was starting in my career as an architect – it’s not even like, a crushed dream, but more like a miscarried dream. The dream was never even born.
So now, I paint because I have to paint to feel free. I have to paint to feel like I am in the driver’s seat of my life, and to feel like I am living to my potential.
1.My first memory connected to creating art:
As a photographer. 4 years ago I returned to the UK from Jamaica after having spent 3 wks tieing up my mother’s belongings following her passing. In my suitcase were several large brown envelopes, each filled with old photos I’d gathered from all over the house there.
Among them was a portrait of my baby brother wearing a cowboy hat sat on a grass verge in a park. I had been the photographer. I was 8 going on 9 years old. I’d long forgotten having taken that pic – on an old Instamatic…but that was where it had first begun. It was easy, natural. The memory came flooding back.
As a singer/singing publicly…even earlier…a memory, like the photo, which I hadn’t thought of for over 30yrs. I’m 4 or 5, in my mum’s church, dressed to the 9s, ‘performing’ – ‘Jesus wants me for a sunbeam’ & strumming a mini guitar or ukelele! (8 weeks ago I completed a 10 week ‘acoustic guitar course for beginners’!)
2.Most profound experience as an artist:
Last year at a local city art fair, a quirky, smiley, unconventionally dressed 40 something year old chap wearing a large pair of headphones attached to a pouch containing a Sony walkman, stopped to look and began asking questions & chatting about my artwork on display, what he loved about it etc. As we spoke he said ’ your voice reminds me of a singer I once saw at a festival a few years back. I’d bought a CD of hers…transferred the music onto cassette tape. I listen to her almost everyday. I’m listening to her now…here have a listen’. In the spirit of the game, I took one ear and held it a little distance over mine. Well I nearly fell off my perch! He was listening to an EP I’d recorded and sold at a festival I’d performed at with my band more than 5 years ago!
3.How are the above connected?:
I realise that I was always meant to be a ‘Singing Photographer’. My Why?
Simply to inspire others, predominantly women, regardless of age, to follow their bliss.
To inspire by example…through my actions rather than words, my successes, challenges, things overcome, breakthroughs made, courage, strength, honesty, integrity, my drive & determination, my personal growth, my passion …as I continue striving to become a more fulfilled, confident, established, successful, influential, financially secure & benevolent multi creative.
At 29 I was struck down by the debilitating illness M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). It took a further 23yrs to fully recover & for the past 5 years I’ve literally been trying to catch-up, make up for’ lost time’, find my way, my purpose, redefine who I am, where I’m heading & meant to be.
As a child I sang, drew, wrote and ran all with gay abandon. 40 yrs later I’ve come full circle. Music and art returned into my life, initially as therapeutic pastimes during my illness. Now, as a fully immersed self taught visual (Fine Art b&w photographer) & performing (singer/ songwriter ) artist, I’m following my bliss. I’m as passionate about my photography as I am strutting my stuff on stage. However for both, more often than I wish, I am overwhelmed by my lack of business savvy necessary to really establish myself, nurture, grow, build the ideal client base I envisage as well as further relationships I have (had) with purchasing clients on my (hibernated) mailing list. I am confused by the mixed messages emanating from the universal library of ‘how to’s’ as well as the need to generate a regular, solid lifelong financial carpet of stability.
Inspite of the transient blocks above, I love the fact though, that as has often been the case throughout my adult life, even along this early part of my ‘personal rebuild’ and rekindled creative journey, I appear to be achieving my purpose in small doses. Often (including twice in the last 10 days) I’m told, receive texts or emails from female friends/acquaintances expressing how much they are, were, continue to be inspired, encouraged… by me, by my efforts, the things, gains and successes (relative) they observe or hear of…
The stories, emotions evoked & shared between the snapper (moi) and those who stop to observe and/ or buy my photography, touch me too. The smiles, the laughter, the breaking down of barriers where a room full of strangers become a room of spirited, raucous or moved ‘friends’ united as one for one night or in some cases the rest of their lives as a result of having met, been witness to and part of one of my/our live performances…is priceless…
I do all this and wish to do more through my artistry.
My words alone could never say the things I wish to say or describe the things I wish to share and offer. Art & music are the gifts, the instruments I use to effect change and I see the effect, how people are moved. Some buy into a little bliss… in the form of my artwork whose nostalgic imagery takes them by the hand each time they cast their eyes upon them and leads them skipping down memory lane, while others begin questioning, exploring triggered resurfacing aspirations and leave inspired more than ever before to begin or continue following their bliss.
For some reason it seems that throughout my life I’ve had a habit of stepping into the games I’d chosen later than the considered societal traditional norm. Although reasonably outgoing, maybe some of the ‘hesitation’ was due to a deep seated lack of self confidence & belief in my skills, my gifts including my abilities to succeed amid the ghosts of past invalidations….I don’t know…
2 years ago I made the decision to step off the sidelines of hesitation, stop dabbling and take my photography ‘seriously’. I chose to follow the artistic road less travelled and set out to learn how to run my artistic career as a business rather than wait to be ‘discovered’. I turned a small back room store room into a gallery/shop, began trading at one of the city’s most well known art markets as well as began accepting & attending invitations to exhibit at art fairs and galleries.
All invaluable learning curves which enabled me to own my artistry, gave me the skills to discover, articulate & share my story and more importantly, define my niche as well as identify
more clearly my ideal client base.
This year however, I’ve slowed in both areas. Ran out of steam, confused mainly as to how to move forward, needed time to rethink and work out how to turn my passions into thriving entities. Up until now it’s been a steep learning curve & lonely road trying to work it all out solo.
I’m not sure right now how to make the above connections and progress…that’s why I’m here. Until I can take control and do the above I feel limited in how much of that ‘purposeful’ difference I can continue to make. And I like making it, it’s in my blood. Empowering, lifting, inspiring.
I am an Empath. I naturally go from relating to another’s feelings to actually feeling those emotions on an energetic level. I am also a Highly Sensitive Person. (HSP) My nervous system responds more intensely to stimuli than average. The combination of these two traits account for only about 2% of the population.
Only in recent years have I understood this about myself. Being an Empath/ HSP explains why I was the child who always wanted to hug and why I crave touch. It explains why I am passionate about animal abuse, human trafficking and finding the divinity in all beings. It explains why I am the most at peace when connecting on a very individual level, experiencing the wonders of nature, and delighting in humanity on medical volunteer trips. Experiencing the world on a heightened level is a beautiful and thrilling ability!
But being a sensitive Empath is very much a two-edged sword and I have spent most of my life shredding myself to pieces on the wrong side of that sword. In my early years I unwittingly learned to repress my emotions while still validating those of others. I learned to wear a mask of perfectionism to compete for validation. I learned to be horrified of being female in both mind and body. I learned to hush my own truth to such a degree that I had no concept of healthy boundaries or that my needs were valid. I lived in such terror of being discovered for what I was, that I relented to pressures and married young because I honestly believed that I might not have another opportunity. I spent my entire young adulthood ingraining the lessons of my childhood in that marriage until even my high pain threshold couldn’t stand one more day of having my soul stomped on.
In these last few years I have been slowly but deliberately crawling my way back out of that maze. I am learning that I do not have to set my own emotional broken bones any more, that I do not need to be driven by fear, and that I am worthy of being loved. I am on a spiritual journey of remembering who I really am, and acknowledging my incredible potential as a woman, a healer and a creator. Because while I am an Empath and a HSP, I am also an artist.
As an artist, I have sifted visual metaphors out of my subconscious that have spoken my hurt and my hope in a way that my words have not been permitted to do so. Many times the images I create feel more like an act of discovery than creation. It is all within my mind and my body channels it onto paper.
Art has been a modality of my healing process, but as an Empath I want to extend that healing beyond myself. Assisting another’s healing is part of my own healing. Not everybody is an artist themselves but when I connect with another human being, feel their emotions and acknowledge them, I am able to channel that energy into imagery in much the same way I do for myself. In the words of H. Jackson Brown Jr. “everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.” That common humanity brings me to create a personal visualization of those very things for each of my clients. My hope is that having such an image will allow you to observe your emotional self from another vantage point and will empower and assist you on your own journey. May we all discover the seeds of divinity within ourselves!
This is a challenge for me, makes me think outside of my box and look at different perspectives!
My first memory of any art form comes from my childhood at age 4, I snapped a lot of film of various things a little girl would do, my puppy, our house, my swingset, the haystacks, ect..camera in hand by day and paper in hands by night, I recall cutting up old newspapers and watching the snippets fall in a large bowl, sometimes I would put my hands in there and lift the papers up and watch them fall back in the bowl, pretending to mix meat loaf the way mom did! Aside of that I would get to glue the pieces of paper to a blank tablet or box, making shapes and designing any way I wanted then coloring over the top! So many hours of creations captured!! Always encouraged as a child to create and explore!! Still lives in me today!! as I grew I explored many mediums, grew in some and didnt in others but still loved the experience!
I would have to say came came ten years ago when a local artist contacted me and asked if I would consider creating her backgrounds!!! I guess the two connections would be simply be WHO and WHAT you are. had I been doing the art that others THINK you should or doing stuff to fit in I would have missed this opportunity! Just be and Just do!!!
As a kid, I often felt invisible and unsure of myself. I felt I could never please my parents. Around the age of 7-8, my dad caught my sisters and I playing in a sexual way with a neighborhood girl slightly older than us. I realise now, she may have been abused and was acting out with us things she learned -I can’t be sure. My dad was shocked but said nothing to us when we realized he caught us. Later, my mom sat us down and told us that was very wrong. I’ve always been deeply ashamed of that memory. Shame was a subtle way to discipline us most of the time. Then my grandmother passed away, adding to the emotional trauma.
Also during that time I remember sending in drawings to those magazine ‘contests’ for some art institute, the ones where you try to copy the printed cartoon character. I was praised for ‘being an artist’ and it felt good to be good at something and praised for it. I clung to that encouragement and have always sought to please my parents or please in general. Making drawings was a way to have the spotlight for a moment.
For most of my life, I never wanted to feel very deeply and would detach from my emotions. After having my daughter (she’s 3 1/2 now) I’ve never felt such flood of emotions! There is a beauty in feeling deeply – sadness, lonliness, vulnerability, joy, hope. It’s part of being human.
I want to make art that touches and expresses these emotional truths. I want to touch on the things that are important in life – family, friendship, justice, and love.
The best and most successful times in my life have been in places where I’ve been able to be a leader, teaching others something I was good at doing, and having some autonomy to be creative. I’m hoping to do this with my business.
You have the “glasses”.
My journey began in the 1970’s with time spent pouring over my grandmother’s Rembrandt books and the piles of pastels, charcoals and oils paints at Mom’s kitchen table. That’s when I discovered that I had the “glasses”. The “glasses” allowed me to see the beauty of this world with childlike wonder. From that moment on, I’ve had an infinite fascination with atmosphere and the relationship between light and shadow. Through my art and teaching, I have the unique opportunity of helping you and others to discover the “glasses” that you wear. Once you discover them, every day images are never ordinary. That’s why I paint!
1. First Memory: I’ve decided to choose my love as a child of immersing myself in creating scenes with blocks, plastic farm animals and toys, as ‘creating art’. Although I loved writing and music too, it’s assemblage and dioramas that I’ve discovered a passion for in recent years, so perhaps it started as a three year old, turning away from a world where I seemed surrounded by messages that I was stupid, incapable and unsafe simply because I was a girl- both in my unpredictable and sometimes scary family home and in the wider world- and instead creating little worlds and scenes where I could have fun, where it was ok to love animals and nature and I could express myself without feeling judged and confused by the world of adults.
2. Profound Experience:again, this might not be a typical ‘artist’ moment. As part of a sand-tray therapy session with a Jungian analyst about 10yrs ago, I was very surprised to find myself choosing religious icons and images- crosses, Mother Mary figures and so forth- and surrounding them with jewels, draping them with golden beads and creating what to me was a profoundly moving scene, which made me weep with some kind of relief. I was able to re-interpret and reclaim these ancient icons, particularly Mother Mary, without applying the standard norms applied to them in particular by the patriarchy we live within. I then recalled my fascination with Catholic road-side shrines I’d seen in Europe 20yrs earlier- beautiful, mysterious, artistic little places of refuge for the weary traveler, even the ‘non-religious’ traveler, like myself.
I went on to create little shrines and grottoes, and was amazed and delighted to find other people liked them and didn’t think I was crazy for making them. This, too has been profound for me! Even being brave enough to show them to other people has been big for me. I’ve discovered many artists make them, even non-religious people like myself.
3. How these are connected: Assembling items into little worlds that delight me is fun, can be hilarious and silly to me, yet is also satisfying and profoundly moving. Creating scenes that represent what I crave in life is reassuring and good- scenes that say to me: there’s more to me than the old stereotypes of women or even of Mother Mary; it’s ok to accept death; it feels great being connected to ‘spirit’ no matter how I interpret that; it’s wonderful to appreciate being alive.
4. What is my WHY? I can encourage things into reality that I find are lacking in day-to-day Western life, by bringing symbols of them into the world: little scenes of peace; humour; understanding; refuge; the Bigger Picture; the simple power of the feminine; the soothing mystery of simply being alive on the planet.
Also- this is all pretty new to me! I’m really at the ideas stage!! I don’t know what else i might want to do yet.
Crayon, black paint and scrape in your design. 3rd grade art project proudly displayed at the front of the class with an award for my goopy bird. I still remember the joy of finding the beauty of the colors emerging as I scraped the paint away, one piece I have kept through the years when I discover the treasure of creating art.
Every job I have held has been in a creative field, in those jobs I have had my highest highs and lowest lows. I have been stretched, challenged but always driven to learn an search for my sweet spot.
I was away for a little over a week in Aug co-leading a team to work with a village in Mexico, it was such a gift to work side by side with an amazing group of people all using their gifts to serve an also be served by these dear people we have grown to love in Mexico.
Returning to my studio with a deadline feeling engerized yet tired by the trip I decided to keep it simple and just use a palette knife and a couple of brushes. As I painted joy flooded my soul as a new style I have been looking for was emerging on the board. I felt as though I stepped right back to third grade again finding the thrill of the treasure in the joy of doing art and finding my new sweet spot.
I am a visual artists because my life is a testament to using art and creative expression to process and transform traumatic childhood experiences, external stressors and general darkness into a sense of strength, resilience, empowerment and connection.
Art and creativity are agents of change that help me connect more deeply with other people, ideas, nature and myself. I exist to share that gift with the world
My first memory that I can remember is the smell of the paint in Kindergarten or 1st grade, and the feeling of having fun fingerpainting – it was pure joy. As I’ve gotten older, I can’t say that I’ve felt that kind of pure joy very often in daily life.
The most profound experience I’ve had was recently when I decided to try to draw faces, even if it didn’t come out right – I took it as an exercise in drawing. Lo and behold, I was actually able to do a decent job and they didn’t look horrible:-). I had no idea that I could do that prior to just trying one day.
The two were connected because in both cases I feel like I was just exploring, no matter what it looked like. I was just in it for the experience and the freedom of doing. So, I feel like my why is that in this forum I can express and explore myself without being worried what the reactions might be to that expression. I’m introverted and socially awkward. I never truly felt like I fit in anywhere, always feeling judged or looked down upon for something I said or didn’t say, etc. But for some reason in this type of expression, I’ve found that it doesn’t really worry me (at least yet) what someone might feel or say about my work – it just is, it just comes out, and then there’s not really a way to deny that it is my expression. I LOVE to make art and would happily spend all day painting but I know that there is so much more to it than that if I want to make a living at it. Thanks so much for what you do!
I’ve loved horses from my first memories, and because I had none, I had to draw them. One very early memory, is using a crayon to draw a horse on the wall behind my grandmas couch[she never painted over it while they lived there!]. and in first grade my teacher, who was really scary to us, kept me after school and drew three trees, just simple triangle shaped pine trees in three different sizes, and asked my which tree was the fathest away, of course it was the smallest one, and she seemed very pleased that I understood that. Then later in the only art class in school I can remember I drew a very nice horse running, and then they gave me tempera paints, or watercolor, and I totally ruined my good drawing with to wet of paint, and no instruction that I can remember. Funny what little things stick in your head! I still don’t like watercolor!
I know this comes late, but here it goes!
My first memory that connects me to creating art was when I was in elementary school. I was placed in an art enrichment program for two weeks during the school year. There I learned more how to draw, paint, and work with clay. I finally felt that I was able to succeed since I struggled in other subject areas. From there, my interest in art grew stronger and it’s been with me ever since. Unfortunately, life steered me way from it for a while, but it kept calling me back. So I answered with more determination to create.
My most profound experience with art was when I completed my first painting after 11 years. In fact the first piece I created was an oil painting. I knew nothing about oils. I didn’t even know what I wanted to paint. It felt as though my creative juices shrivelled up and became a pile of dust. I could not even think of what to paint. It was if my artistic voice disappeared. Fortunately, I finally found my inspiration when scanning through my iPad and I stumbled upon a distorted image my niece took of herself and I was intrigued. Within 10 months, I created a series of 4 portraits. The remaining three were of myself. They are introspective and tell personal stories using symbolism. Even though I returning to art making made me a happier person, I was worried that re-emerging after an eleven year long hiatus, I would not be able to break into the local art scene. To my delight however, one of my pieces was nominated for an award. Even though I did not receive the award in the end, it made me reconsider my fear. Perhaps it is possible to succeed after a long break.
My art has always been there for me and unknowingly it allowed me to heal from what I had experienced within the eleven year break. I’ve come to realize that I don’t want my artwork to only hang on white gallery walls. I want my work to have a purpose that goes beyond myself or just to decorate peoples’ homes. I want my work to help others as it helped me. To provide a distraction to whatever ails them or to add to their already wonderful day.
My why, since as long as I remember I had to create with my fingers and hands. I love texture, colours and touching things. I am currently painting but always worked on prodject such as knitting quilting weaving and working with clay. I am passionate with colours textures and need to touch things and create. I always have a prodject or an idea in mind. I work spontaniously and with gusto. I like to express joy and freeness.
My most profond experience as an painter is when I work on a series in my studio with many painting going at the same time, when I am so involve in my painting that I forget the time and I am in a completely different zone.
How are those two point connected, there are for me when someone sees my paintings ans relate to them one way or the other. I often here from viewers that my paintings are giving them happiness, freshness and warmth. For me creating is liberating and relaxing. I love working in my studio!
My first memory of being an artist is singing “Silent Night” in front of the whole congregation at 5 years old. In that moment I adored the warmth, the smiles, and the generous applause and I was hooked. Years later another profound moment came when I was starring in a hilarious jazz musical and at the end there was a standing ovation and someone put a bouquet of roses in my arms…I shivered with delight, felt like a celebrity and deeply connected with the energy of entertainment and giving my gifts.
My other memories involve doing painting, writing and drawing and always having people say”You’re so lucky you’re so talented”. If I wanted to create something I just did it… Never any fear. I never questioned my ability to just do it. It was my salvation in a very difficult childhood with an artist mother who was angry woman.
I had a hard time calling myself an artist for a lot of years because I didn’t make any money and I was afraid…I just did it for pleasure, entertainment and for gifts then in didn’t have to face up to the fear.
Finally in my 30’s I started getting paid for teaching theatre and art as well as directing youth in plays and for scenic painting. That was an incredible feeling…being valued for what I had to offer.
Then I started getting paid for tattoos and my life changed forever. Drawing, painting, tattooing and earning a good living. Now, 11 years later, I teach tattoo to others and I implement a lot of these positive ideas to my students.
But the deeper pull of my heart is writing and creating custom art channeled from the muses. Woo hooery, right? I deeply connect with people who believe in possibility, miracles and creating their own lives. Choosing to flow, allow and not let fear stop them.
My Why, my first memory of my art was bringing home my coloured drawing from kindergarten and my parents being amazed at my three dimesional drawing. My boat was not floating on top of the water but in and amoungst the waves. This seemed natural to be and I could see what all the fuss was about.
I grew up on the coast of Australia and we holidayed at the beach ever since I could remember. I have always loved the beach and staring at the waves rolling onto the sand. I found it mesmorizing. Unfortunately due to my mums fear of water she would not let me go out into the surf too far. So I didnt get to experience those waves up close.
When I was 15yrs old my family moved out west for work purposes and there is not beach out there, only brown grass, dirt and heat. So I bought the beach with me in my head. I bought lots surf magazines to look at waves. Then I bought my first oil paints and experimented with them and painted a large rolling wave on my bedroom wall. I began to paint and filled every wall in the house with my art.
Many years have past between then and now. I have moved back to the coast and resumed my painting again. I now paint beach art and large waves. I’ve never really thought about it before but I think that my wave paintings are my way of getting up close and inside them.
What is the first memory you have connected to creating art?
I can’t remember my first time creating art, but aren’t all children creative? I remember my mom showing me how to draw cartoon cats. I had a wonderful elementary school teacher who gave me advanced class assignments. While the other kids were drawing cones and spheres, I was learning to draw and shade drapery. Miss Pigott with her heavy blue eye makeup, long dark hair and mini skirts (this was the 70s) was an amazing guide. I was also fortunate to have a fantastic high school art teacher, Miss Angie Wong. I remember her heavy Egyptian style eye makeup and long black hair. We had an artists cafe night where we would paint a self portrait in the style of a certain artist. I chose Van Gogh, don’t know what happened to those early paintings. She also arranged my first public group art show of still life charcoal drawings at the Toronto Dominion Centre in downtown Toronto. With so much encouragement how could I not decide on an art career attending the Ontario College of Art.
What is the most profound experience you’ve had as an artist in your life (if you had to pick just one, in this moment)?
I was in an exhibition entitled SHE at the Illumine Gallery in St Thomas, Ontario. For this show I painted “She Survived” which was donated to raise funds for Violence Against Women Services Elgin County. I felt a deep sense of purpose and joy knowing that I helped other women. Four years previous to this, I left an abusive relationship.
I went through a dry period of about 15 years creating no art at all while in this stifling relationship. When it inevitably came to an end, I began to make art again and have shows. I healed myself through art.
How are the two connected?
The connection I see is women helping and connecting with other women on a deeper level and being inspired and motivated by strong women.
What is your WHY?
Why I create art is to express and share my inner goddess and help people heal and feel joy through art. This is how I communicate and deeply connect with the world.
My first memory of creating art was sitting at the kitchen table on a rainy day with a piece of construction paper and a box of crayons. No clue what I drew, but I spent hours just drawing.
The most profound experience I’ve had as an artist was when I came back to art as an adult, during a difficult time in my life, and it was so therapeutic, allowing me to cope better with the situation I was dealing with. It allowed me periods of time where I could jump off the emotional rollercoaster and retreat into a drawing providing me a little bit of calm and restoration.
How are the two connected? They both provided me a solution to my problem. One of emotional turmoil and the other was boredom.
What is my why? I create art for a feeling. A sense of calmness, relaxation, joy, happiness and fun. I want my art, photography & designs to bring those same feelings into the heart, mind and soul of others when they look at them. I want others to feel like they are there in the picture too.
One Christmas, when I was 9 or 10 years old, I received a John Nagy Learn to Draw Kit. I was so excited to start drawing. I drew every picture in the book and learned to shade my drawings to produce a realistic finished product. Then, I drew them again, trying to produce an exact copy of the original. Everyone in my family was amazed at my abilities. I could reproduce each drawing exactly. I then went on to copy other drawings and then to drawing objects from real life. I was so proud of my ability to make a drawing look real with shading and lines. Today I still strive for super realism using an HD camera to capture all the colors and lines that the naked eye can’t see. I love color so I have transferred from black and white drawings to colored pencils to acrylic paints over the years. My Paintings are a combination of acrylic marker lines and rich acrylic paints in a super realistic or surrealistic style. I love nature and I become mesmerized by a beautiful sky or scenery. When I moved to N Arkansas at 30, I knew I was where I needed to be, painting the beauty of the Buffalo National River. I have come to realize that the earth is a living entity and I try to portray that life into my paintings of the trees, rocks, cliffs and waters of Northern Arkansas. All life is precious and supported by our beautiful living planet.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t do Art of some kind. For years my grandmother kept a coffee mug that she said I painted when I was two. It’s how I learn and understand things. Even in High School I would excel in biology (nature), but I almost failed History. When I got to Art College, I got all A’s in Art History, because I could draw it, I could remember it. It has always been this way. Art is my safe place. When I studied Sumi Painting in Japan, I was alone, but always comfortable, because I was always sketching or photographing nature and beautiful things. But I think why I create now, is more than being comfortable, I’m driven by a desire to make a difference, to leave a legacy. In 2012 I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and was told by a county neurologist, that I would have to give up my art. Another Doctor turned that around a thankfully I am still painting. But I know time is limited, and I want to do what I can to show as many people as I can the dangers of plastics and trash in our oceans and lands. So, I paint beautiful pictures with trash in them, WHY? because it’s there. I want the world to understand what we are doing to it.
Art offers me encouragement, enlightenment, entertainment, and healthy escape. I want those very things to project to others through my art. It’s these very same things that God has allowed me to experience whenever I pick up a pen, a brush, type, or indulge in while viewing or reading someone else’s work.
As a child, reading and writing took me away from so many of the nasty arguments and ugly things that were commonplace in my household. Doing the same through my adolescence, writing and art were outlets from the unwarranted bullying I experienced for being quiet and getting good grades. In my young adulthood, creative writing helped me mentally escape loneliness and depression, severe imposture syndrome after flunking out of college twice, dead-end relationships and sexual assault, a failed marriage and single motherhood, and so many other disappointments and heartaches.
I didn’t realize the power of creativity at that time and why God gave me this gift until more recent years. During a retreat while talking to someone, now sister-friend to me, who shared her adult coloring books with me, I opened up to her and uncovered decades of hurt, shame, and loss. It was a spiritual cleansing I never experienced in any church or counselor’s office. I was flooded with tears, emotion, and color. I could finally heal. I could finally stop pushing my passions for art and writing to the side. I could begin to help others see the same connection through that medium.
I often wish I had dismissed the more practical advice given to me in my early years regarding education and career, and chose a more artistic path for setting a solid foundation in the arts. However that’s not a guarantee for consistency. And the path I’ve traveled has placed me exactly where I need to be so I can show others how creative art and writing can pour so much light, life, and love into their lives and the lives of others… to allow people to experience the healing, healthy properties that art has to offer.
I create to celebrate the divine light I see in the world. Children at play, beloved pets, flowers, nature peace and everyday tranquility…beauty both man made and God given are my inspiration.
I create and I find joy. I create and my mind is released from all the doubts, fears, second guessing and self saboteurs of life. I am worthy. I am fearless. I am free!
But my art is not so much what I create as what I share. My true art is my ability to teach others how to tap into their own creative selves and find joy. By guiding others in the creative process I open doorways to exploration, risk taking, and self-expression. I teach them how to be fearless and free.
This is my art. It is my gift and I am called to share. And by sharing I am able to give others that which was gifted to me.
I remember sketching people when I had free time as a volunteer in a small local hospital. It was so exciting to later be able to express my creativity as an artist using fabric. I love talking with people about the memoroes evoked by my art.
I’ve always loved art. When I was a kid I would look at the wildlife illustrations in my Dad’s Outdoor Life magazine and wish I could draw like that. I wanted mostly to capture the memories. I didn’t realize it wasn’t that easy but that didn’t stop me. My parents bought me my first set of oil paints when I was 10. There have been on and off periods for many years. On and enthused and then disappointed and off. What was I going to do with all those paintings after all. Sometimes it was just life being busy and no time between raising a family and ranching. Now that I’m older I have two goals. One is to use my art to record the ranching lifestyle and the other is to hopefully supplement our income as we get older and entertain myself too. Marketing has always been tough for me. So as well as perfecting skills, I am attempting to learn marketing.I’ve always loved art. When I was a kid I would look at the wildlife illustrations in my Dad’s Outdoor Life magazine and wish I could draw like that. I wanted mostly to capture the memories. I didn’t realize it wasn’t that easy but that didn’t stop me. My parents bought me my first set of oil paints when I was 10. There have been on and off periods for many years. On and enthused and then disappointed and off. What was I going to do with all those paintings after all. Sometimes it was just life being busy and no time between raising a family and ranching. Now that I’m older I have two goals. One is to use my art to record the ranching lifestyle and the other is to hopefully supplement our income as we get older and entertain myself too. Marketing has always been tough for me. So as well as perfecting skills, I am attempting to learn marketing.
1. My earliest memory of doing art was, as a young boy pencil sketching hot rod cars and various other things like that. Fortunately my mother saw these and enrolled me, at 9 years old, in Saturday are classes. The first year we had a Disney artist teach us cartooning and the next year we started oil painting, which I continued up until High School.
2. The most profound experience in my life was a night in 1968 when I discovered there was a God. At the age of 23 this began to radically change the course of my life.
3. After a season of not painting, I began again, this eventually lead to my delving into painting the beauty of the creation.
4. My Why is to create a painting which reflects the beauity and wisdom of the creation, and for those who see it to discover for themselves the wonders of this amazing planet we live on.
As a child to the artist Benedicta Aschan I got the opportunity to try oilpainting early in life. I remember that one of my favorite motives was a wild rose bush. Later in the adolescence when life became stressful and sometimes chaotic and I didn´t really know how to handle it, I eventually found a balance and an inner peace when I could express myself in art. It became a lifeline. Today in an unstable world the art continues to be a counterbalance. My mother passed away six years ago and I really miss her, but I am also very thankful to her because she introduced me to the world of art. She sometimes said that the art was her last independence area. I also connect with that feeling of freedom in making art.
My first memory connected to making art was as a four-year-old, walking up the stairs in the neighborhood nursery school with a small ceramic baseball player I’d made and being upset that the glaze colors weren’t what I’d expected.
My most profound experience? It’s hard to say, but a strong contender would be the overwhelming emotional release I felt a year and a half ago as I glanced at the lockscreen on my phone and read the email preview saying I’d been awarded my first percent for art commission.
The two are connected by years of making, learning, observing, and being inspired by feelings, nature, and other artist’s work. And, by developing and nurturing that same discerning and self critical eye that left me feeling unsatisfied as a 4-year-old and ever since has been necessary to bring my artwork closer to a point that can convey what inspired me and move those who view it.
I love to make things and am constantly inspired and moved by nature and the things I see around me in my daily life. Making art has been a natural extension of my creative approach to living. Making a living as an artist has in turn been a natural extension of my need to create and be independent.
Over the nearly 40 years I’ve worked as an artist, I’ve settled for a boom and bust income cycle which pencils out as a hand to mouth existence with far too much financial stress for myself and my family. In recent years I’ve learned more about marketing and have brought my creativity to it with varied success. Still, I’m living from hand to mouth, and at 61 have no appreciable retirement set aside.
I’m ready to learn and apply the psychological and logistical changes needed to lay a strong foundation for making a consistent and exceptional income with my art.
My “Why” Is because i feel my soul and some thing divine beconing me to do it. I remember as a little girl watching my mom doodle while talking on the phone, making her to-do lists! I remember asking her to draw me a girl and even though i must have been only 5 at the time i still remember what the girl looked like and how she did it. Then I remember believing the thought that “I can’t even draw stick figures” and avoiding art classes through middle school. I finally had to take them my senior year in high school. That was the first time I saw that I had talent. I had no idea how I was doing it (and still don’t) but I would step back and hardly believe I created it, like its not really me, and that something divine was with me while I painted. I’m sure others experience this feeling like when they are doing some thing meant for them, their soul is more awake. I am more alive when I paint and draw. The other times I’ve felt those feelings calling me, were one time walking through a gallery in Vegas and as I stood in front of these beautiful paintings I started to cry. I had no idea why. My heart was just burning and I longed for it, like I was meant to do that too. The other happened while reading in my scriptures. I felt a voice that said “I want you to paint me” I had completely forgotten about it, but I wrote it in my margin years ago. I just found it halfway through this painting of Christ I’m working on. I just feel like I’m being asked to do it, and then I’m being helped far beyond my personal capacity and knowledge. I’m just a girl who took a couple classes in highschool, continued painting and drawing as a hobby,l.
Now am painting this picture of Christ I’d like to share with anyone needing stengthening in their faith. My “why” is to be a source of goodness and hope in this world of hurt.
I want to capture fleeting moments. Nature and life are so fragile and so beautiful. The world can be huge and dramatic and one feels humbled by it but look closely at the beauty of the minutae and the sense of wonder at the “magicness” makes you take a step back to appreciate the picture as a whole brought together by teeny, tiny microcosms of life. I want to grasp this magic, communicate with swathes of colour that make you want to look closer, look at the details, then step back again with a smile and through new eyes. Scuba diving and sailing brings a sense of calm to me, but the sea is a force of nature not to be messed with, to be respected yet marvelled at. My why would be to share this somehow in my art.I want to capture fleeting moments. Nature and life are so fragile and so beautiful. The world can be huge and dramatic and one feels humbled by it but look closely at the beauty of the minutae and the sense of wonder at the “magicness” makes you take a step back to appreciate the picture as a whole brought together by teeny, tiny microcosms of life. I want to grasp this magic, communicate with swathes of colour that make you want to look closer, look at the details, then step back again with a smile and through new eyes. Scuba diving and sailing brings a sense of calm to me, but the sea is a force of nature not to be messed with, to be respected yet marvelled at. My why would be to share this somehow in my art.
There are experiences that are beyond words. We have all had them, felt them, and we recognise them only after they have occured. Every equestrian has had this experience with a horse, usually a mulitude of times. Whether it was watching horses at liberity or while in the saddle, we have experienced that moment that lanague can’t define.
It is that awe moment that I am painting.
I’m struggling with finding a memory that connects with art. I paint because it connects me to myself, Erika, something outside of a mother role, etc. It centers me and connecting to other whimsical areas helps me to apply the skills I have learned in college (digital media minor) and in corporate (project management), in a completely different way. I’m a visual learner and being able to express myself in a visual way that connects with others excites me. I have so many new relationships online and otherwise, directly due to my art. Creating has allowed me to get past my introvert tendencies (I’m an extroverted introvert) and find like minded creative people. Absolutely love that. I also love empowering women to get back in touch with their creative side. A common theme is “leaving art behind because…” but there is still a curiousity there. So I love to assist and encourage that too. I’ve maintained my art so I never lost what I have learned so far. In between naps, while at my full-time analyst job, etc. Lastly, and not in this order, my why is my family. I want to show my young girls (2 and 5) that you can take the path less traveled and be succesful, happy and fulfilled.
It has taken me so long to write something here because I don’t know the why. I have always been creative as a child, trying so many different things (drawing, embroidery, ceramics, etc.) but not staying on one thing. It seemed like I was always searching for the perfect thing… and still am today. The only thing that I can think of as a profound experience is that I was accepted into university into a BFA program without having any long-term artistic classes in any discipline. I never took art during grade school, just one-of classes every so often, or seeing something and figuring out how to do it on my own. My mind is always thinking and wanting to try new things that I don’t have a cohesive style. My background is owning and operating a design, marketing and communication company, so it was always coming up for new ideas for clients. Having me as my own client is difficult to make decisions.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t create…thru drawing, painting, crafts etc. It was my calling. I took all art classes my senior year of high school just so I could experiment with different mediums and figure out which one I liked the best. I even agonized over what to study in college that will be fulfilling but also be a way to support myself so I decided to go into Art Education. Luckily for me, my program emphasized being an artist first and a teacher second so I had to take every conceivable art course offered so I could teach all and then discover what I wanted to master. I can tell you, that was very expensive and a wonderful experience. I finally settled on painting in both oil and watercolor. Since I didn’t trust my drawing skills (and sometimes still don’t) I started out quite abstract, but now I’m getting more realistic and really enjoying myself. Thru my art I have made a lot of wonderful friends and had tons of experiences both good and bad. I love to give back, often at the expense of time in the studio, but I guess that’s just the teacher instinct in me. I do know that if I can’t get in my studio, it affects my mood and not to the good. I need that outlet and unfortunately I’ve been putting other people’s needs ahead of my own. Hopefully thru this, I will jump start my creative energy and feel good again about what I create and more importantly create to please myself and not for financial gain.
I have know many people and several family members, including and most poignant to me, my mother, who have lived much of their lives in sadness and negativity. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I really understood how their mindsets were not only hurting them, but that they were spreading it to others. With my art, I want to inspire people to embrace joy and kindness and spread that to others instead…like a gathering on a dark evening when one person lights other’s candles and those people light more and so on until the entire gathering becomes illuminated.
I’ve draw since a child, At 6 years old I remember wanting to be a carpenter like my grandad. By eight I’d got into drawing and wanted to be an artist. At ten years old my parents had bought me my first set of oil paints and I can vividly remember the little set of paints with charcoal, turpentine and linseed oil and the lovely buttery feel of the oil paints. I then set about following the instructions that came with the paint set and painted a peacock. I’d started my journey of exploration into the world of painting. For me the childhood thrill of creating has never left me and trying to capture my observations of the world around me through painting and drawing are still one of the most exiting things I can think to do.
My first memory with art was when I moved to Los Angeles in fourth grade from Mexico just before I turned 9 years old. I didn’t speak English and I remember an art docent came to my class and taught us art. I fell head over heels in love with art. I gave me so much joy to be able to do something creative and I didn’t have to explain my art. I looked forward every week to the art lessons and truly, they saved me because without them I would have been miserable in school. In my senior year I had only four art classes and I knew I wanted to go to college and become an art teacher so I could do art all the time.
Life happened and a few weeks after high school graduation I became homeless. My dream of becoming an artist was put away so I could survive so I went to work full time and over time just to be able to do so. Then my priority became raising my two children. But when my daughter went away to university my creativity couldn’t wait any longer so I began to paint part time. Then when my son went to university, my creative force became unleashed and even went back to college myself and took 27 units of fundamental art classes.
It was during 2011, after I finished semester of art classes that I sold my first painting. It was profound experience because I felt art was indeed a gift I could share with the world. It really hit me when my client gave me feedback. She told me that everyday she looked at my painting and it made her happy. I felt good to be able to bring happiness through my artwork because creating my art makes be happy.
How are they connected? The joy I feel when I create my artwork is felt by those who own my artwork. So beside creating something beautiful for a space, I bring a little bit of happiness to it as well.
For me working with clay is like doing a magic trick. I am both the magician and the delighted little kid who sees someone pull a quarter out of my ear. Every time I pick up a piece of clay and start rolling it around in my hands I feel excited. I really can’t explain what the attraction to clay is for me. Maybe it is the smell of the damp earth that comes out of the clay bag when I open it or maybe it is how it feels in my hands while I’m shaping it.
I think I have always been a potter at heart. I’ve been attracted to pottery objects wherever I’ve gone for as long as I can remember. When I was in grade school we had to do a project about Japan. There were many areas to choose from and I immediately zoomed in on the ‘pottery’ project. I had been a mud pie maker since early on so this was right up my alley; I would play in the mud all day. Now, my worst subject at that time was spelling; thank goodness for spell check or it would probably still be my Achilles heel! Anyway, I went home that day all excited about the pottery project I was going to get to do. You can imagine my horror when I discovered that I had snatched up the chance to do a poetry project! POETRY!
It took ten years and going away to college to study architecture before I finally got the chance to get my hands into some clay. I signed up for a pottery class at my school’s rec. center. My first projects were pretty clunky but I loved making them. For me there was a connection to the clay unlike anything I’d ever felt before. It took a few more years of following the degree path I was already on before I worked up the nerve to follow my heart and throw myself into the clay world head first and I have been happily up to my elbows in it ever since. Now every day is magic and the excitement of clay in my hands never fades.
I don’t really have a concrete statement for why I do what I do. It just is who I am and I am greatful and amazed that I have been lucky enough to be able to make my living sharing my work with collectors who support what I do.
One of my first memories I have connected to making art, was when I was around nine years of age, my Mom asked me to draw a little character “Sparky” that was on a matchbook cover. This was an advertisement for an art school. She sent it in, I got a postive reply, while I was too young for the school, it did solidified my connection to creating. Creating art has and is the best way I can connect with others and myself.
I feel we are all creative, but some of us have been given the added gift of passion -the desire to express ourselves through a creative process. This passion fulfills a need in ourselves and in turn in others as they view what we have created.
While most of my life I have acknowledged this ability, it was recently through prayer and soul searching that I realized that down deep, I have felt that I did not deserve this gift that had been given to me, this passion that ignites my soul. Therefore I was not fully engaged in this gift, but I also realized that true gifts are given out of love. It does not matter if I feel I deserve it or not, my responsibility is to unwrap, to utilize and fully develop this gift and share it with others – the world.
My why is the embracing of this gift, as I continue to learn, hone my skills, truly develop my art to its fullest, and to share it. I want to create art that is compelling, of things fading away or newly discovered and transformed- Mysterious but with a real presences.
I have wanted to be an artist since I can first remember. I do not believe I was any more talented than any of the rest of my siblings of friends but I had a deep desire and I have always believed that it would be true one day. I told my mother I would paint her a sunset one day. She is gone now and I never did that but I do not regret that as I know that every part of our journey is a teacher. I did not have any support from my family to do art as it was mostly treated with indifference and I was not strong enough in my soul to go ahead anyway. I was educated in graphic design as that was a better way to get a job and I worked in that until I married and moved to a remote part of the country with no jobs in that field. I raised a family, spent every waking and sleeping moment facilitating other people’s lives. I left no time to feed my soul or answer the black hole in my heart that remained. I have a most wonderful husband, children and grandchildren. They are all loving and grateful but 22 years ago I took on disease and needed to heal. I spent 17 years doing that as well as everything else I needed to do to be that “perfect” wife and mother. At age 60 I woke one morning with a woman standing by my bed. She told me that if I did not answer my own needs now I never would. She said “from this moment on your life is a clean slate, you are able to do whatever you need to do to make yourself whole”. I was frightened at first but then soothed and calmed by her presence. Later I realized it was me standing there. I had just met me.
Very soon after that experience, I started by taking a painting workshop 2500 miles away from home and I have kept on making art. I had my first solo exhibit in the gallery in my town. I paint and I do some writing and finding of verse. It was also a very moving experience for me as people came to me in tears because of what I wrote about my paintings. I sold several large pieces there and have sold some off and on. The struggle to keep my head where it belongs continues and at this time I do not feel that I have a very clear plan of how to sell my art and even how to make sense of my path.
Being quite honest, I do not remember my earliest days to pinpoint a
specific “work” as a first. Before kindergarten I had crayons and watercolors.
Throughout grade school, there was no such thing as an art class. My parents
and older brother kept me in books and I was infected early on with the realms
of artists and illustrators. The world and yes, universe was wildly intriguing
then as well as now. Those formative years set the tone for realism all of the way.
Maybe the first big hit was when I had my first painting on the cover of a
magazine in 1974 at the ripe age of 23. Unlike many, I never settled on one
genre. My forte, so to speak has been connected to history. Lately, this Boomer
is maybe not like a number of my generation. I have no desire to return to the
days of older cars etc. So much of what I wondered about like space is now being
answered and I like painting the now. In a sense, I am sharing what is discovered
in paintings. I have the good fortune to work with people who can help me through
if I have questions.
In these times, there are other loves rising to the surface. I was a full ride
scholarship double bassist and there is a music side of me starting to come out
in painting. For instance taking Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen and connecting
with the libretti and the music my imagination can “go out there. Anywhere.”
What’s my why? That’s a difficult question for me to answer. I have been creative since childhood and been doing art on and off for years. I’m doing and trying lots of things, different media, going to workshops and learning new things. I’m all over and not focused in one thing.
I always introduce myselft as a professional student. Always eager to learn new things and knowing how other artists are creating their art. And sharing what I learned to my fellow artists.
So what’s my why? Maybe the artist journey is my why. Still not sure. I need help
This is intimidating, especially after reading what others have written.
Art has always been my escape. Any time I was feeling lonely or sad I could lose myself in the creation of an image. Sometimes it was pure escapism, other times it was to tell a story. This continues to today. Most of my paintings have some sort of path element as I love the idea of being able to walk into a painting and see what’s over that hill or around the bend. My pen and ink drawings call on fairy tales and legends as I try to fight my demons.
My most profound experience was recent when I was going through my box of paintings. I live with depression and as I looked at the different paintings I could see where I was in my mind through the color choice and imagery. It was nothing conscious, but the differences were so very obvious when I viewed the works as a whole. It reminded me that my works do not exist in a vacuum and even if I tuck everything away in a pretty box it still exists in its raw form, waiting.
My WHY is still very much a work in progress, but I’m going to try to gather my thoughts as best as I can right now:
“I believe art is why I get up in the morning, but my definition ends there, and it doesn’t seem fair that I’m living for something I can’t even define…”
Art has always been a guiding force in my life. When I was a child a read whatever I could get my hands on. I wrote a short story when I was five years old. I was drawing and painting, creating jewelry and graphic designs when I was in highschool, while getting published for my poetry and for a papier mache kimono dragon I created. Education has always been HUGE to me, as school was my refuge away from abusive situations.
I feel like art is crucial to development, especially in developing a healthy level of empathy. Creativity and empathy are necessary goals to succeeding in life. I must admit I pity those who are lacking either.
WHY? Because I must. Because to not create is to be stagnant, unmoving, unchanging, unlearning, and that is unacceptable to me. I currently create jewelry, mainly macrame, and small decorative items for the home using techniques like weaving. Why do I do this? Sometimes I settle for, “it’s better than nothing”, but sometimes, when I think about it, I come up with this: decorating oneself, especially as pertains to women, is such a crucial part of our ties to our identities. Femininity seems to be very strongly connected to appearance, and I, like many others, have always struggled with self-esteem. I think if something I make can make a woman happy, make her feel ‘pretty’, then I’ve accomplished something real. If I can increase a woman’s self-confidence, even just a tiny bit, then I’ve done something good. If I can do this while also donating to a nonprofit that does work that I consider incredibly important, then I’ve accomplished two things. I work with nonprofits to create jewelry themed around them, and donate a large portion of the proceeds (arguably too much) back to them. I’ve always wanted, needed, to create actionable change in the world. I’m an activist, too, but it’s arguably easier to be an ARTivist. I want to do more, still. I want to create things that bring to the forefront not just my own pain and suffering, but serve as something that creates conversation around important topics. I’m working on ways to do that now, but it’s a bit challenging with something like jewelry.
I am terrible at defining financial goals, balancing budgets, etc. Numbers are like a foreign language to me, and contemplating restrictions of growth and creativity based on silly things like numbers just feels awful. I tend to think of the monetary side of creative business as ‘dirty’, as something that taints the work I do. I need to get over this to be successful. I know this and I’m trying. I really hope that some of your lessons will stick, because I really want to find a way out of the rut I’m stuck in.
In addition to my physical and mental preexisting disabilities, I have recently been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, which severely limits the things I can create. I have my first surgery scheduled later this month, and, as usual, hope for the best while fearing the worst. I feel terrible for not having created month this year. It’s been a really rough year filled with loss and severe depression, but I blame myself for not doing enough, for not having enough motivation, and because soon I won’t be able to do anything even if I do have the motivation for it.
My Why….. I’ve always been a natural artist for as long as I can remember but that’s not why i am an artist. My entire life I’ve struggled with severe anxiety and depression. ( including hospitalization) This in turn, leads me to be a very introverted person . Art has always been my means to work out everything tormenting me from inside. Some people talk it out, I drew it out. Over time, I’ve combined art with meditation to give myself a sense of balance, a sense of peace. The pieces I create usually are a loose ( or at times) literal representation of what I’m feeling at the time. I’ve taught myself to emote through art. It’s a safe place for my feelings and to stabalize through meditation. My SMIO is the one I have given myself and hope to share that with others .