Sunday, August 27, 2017

When do you become an Artist?

Who is to say when you "become" an Artist?

When you graduate from law school, you receive your diploma and voila, you're a lawyer.  When you become a culinary expert, you're a chef.  When you have kids, you become a parent.   OK, life is not that simple, but you get the picture!  

At what point does an Artist decide "I am an Artist"?   

Painting and talent for the Arts run in my family.  My grandmother was an excellent painter and passed it down to my mom, who passed it down to my sisters and I.  My older sister Michelle drew cool pictures in high school but didn't really continue past that.  She likes crafting.  My sister Lori continues to write poems and loves crafts but doesn't really paint or draw.  We aren't musically talented nor have tried much of sculpting.  Does "the eye" develop, become learned, or is it passed down from birth? 

For me, it could have begun at my first memory of drawing on our brown, wooden coffee table, but it probably was way before that.  It could have been when I started receiving awards and recognition in grade school, or when I started winning money and competitions in high school.  Everyone who saw my realism work in 9th grade was shocked at my skill level.  I continued to draw using any type of medium I could get my hands on including:  pencil, colored pencil, watercolors, acrylics, pen & ink, oil, wax, mixed media, etc.  

I still remember taking my first watercolor class and thinking "wow this is hard".  I had a control problem.  Letting go and becoming more fluid and abstract was difficult for me.   I let the paint do some of the work, instead of just my hands and brain.  I took an oil painting class in the style of Edward Loper.  Oils were just too slow drying for me.  It was painstaking to only pain a little and then come back a week later.  

One day in my tiny apartment in the Highlands, I had a bunch of cheap, thin canvases from AC Moore and some tempura paint.   I sat on the carpet between the couch and TV and began painting.  It was my first real abstract series of five, that I did in one sitting!  I had an idea and the theme for each piece and just rolled with it.  This may have been the beginning of my adult career as an Artist.  Who is to say really?

From there I started seeking venues on the Wilmington Art Loop, took photos of my work and had a website made.  I had a headshot done, a business card made and created a Facebook page.  Other social media sites came about and I have since jumped on board with most of them.  I have shown in galleries and continue to look for inspiration everywhere every single day.  I don't know how to live without Art in my life.  I love teaching my sons and will pass down my skills to the next generation. 

 So let me hear your story or your comments about when do you think someone becomes an Artist?...