Becoming an Artist
May is my birthday month. I will be 62 years old. Until about a year ago, I believed that I had no artistic abilities at all. I couldn’t draw, and I certainly couldn’t paint. This was reinforced by a so-called beginning watercolor class that I took. It wasn’t a beginning course at all, so I believed that I had been right that I was not an artist. After that class, though, something clicked. I had spent a LOT of money on watercolor supplies, so I was hesitant to totally give up. I googled. I found some easy watercolor lessons online and actually produced a couple of small paintings that my husband framed. I was still, however, not an artist.
Obviously, something continued to eat at me, and I discovered Zentangle, a way of doodling. I discovered that the ”tangles” didn’t have to be perfect and that I could let the them evolve the way they wanted to. Around the same time, I discovered some online courses on drawing whimsical faces. They were fun! A friend encouraged me to try painting with acrylics, because they’re easy and forgiving and you can paint over whatever you don’t like. I took an acrylic painting class, and I was hooked! I signed up for many online courses and attended my first in-person retreat in June 2013. Since then, I’ve been to retreats in Austin, TX, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Pt. Townsend, WA, and Salem, OR.
Acrylic painting has become my passion, so I am retiring at the end of this month to be a full-time artist! YES, I AM an artist! I will be studying in Paris, France, and Brighton, England this summer and then in Raleigh, NC this fall.
I mostly paint abstracts with whimsy tossed in occasionally. For the most part, I paint intuitively. I don’t plan paintings (when I do, they usually don’t turn out the way I planned anyway). I put multiple layers of paint on a canvas or other substrate, making random marks as I go. Eventually, one or more images appear. I might keep those images or paint over them and continue. Many layers of paint add a nice depth to the paintings, which definitely adds interest. Big and bold are my favorite ways of creating art.
I paint because I feel compelled to. I get “twitchy” if I stay out of my studio too long. I love to share my artwork with others and find out what they see in the paintings and what feelings they evoke.
Thank you for taking time to look at my creations, and to WWU Wilson Library for allowing me to exhibit!