Monday, February 21, 2011

My history as an "Artist".



I was going through some boxes the other day, trying to organize a closet, and found these old (ancient, really) drawings and watercolors that I did as a kid. Back then, all (and I do mean "all") I drew or painted was horses, much to the consternation of any art teacher I ever had in school.
  From the date on the first one, I was either 13 or 14.. It is watercolor on a  piece of manilla paper.  I didn't know about watercolor paper. I remember going to some store with my mom, and seeing a little box of Chinese watercolors - what a thrill when my mother bought them for me. I think they cost a whole $3 or something.  I was probably 14 for the second one too.. I remember painting this one... I wanted to give it to a camp counselor that I admired, but never did send it off because it wasn't "good enough".,  The "mat" that is around it is a piece of colored construction paper cut with scissors.

I drew alot as a child, though grade school, middle school (we called it Junior High back then) and finally high school. Watercolor was the only "painting" I did, though of course I was doing it all wrong. But, who knew?  I took a drawing class my freshman year of college, and a couple more art classes later. I remember one so-called "oil painting class" - the teacher showed up the first day of class, and said, "I want you to finish 5 paintings this semester." and walked out. That was the extent of our instruction, no kidding. I don't think she really wanted to be there. . My mom has the only oil painting that survived that class.(moms are great for saving things like this!) I don't even know what the other 4 were, don't remember even making more than one!
A clay class had me doing sculptures of horses.  My teacher, who really preferred abstract, modern stuff, was not at all thrilled at my creations, and at first refused to fire them, certain that they would explode in the kiln and damage somebody else's work.  But she finally agreed to put one of them in the kiln, and it (miraculously, in her eyes) did not explode.  She agreed to fire the rest of them, which also all survived. I did 4 in all, as I recall.  Two of them sold, which for me back then was just an amazing, astounding thing...  you mean somebody would actually BUY my stuff? wow!!  One was broken, and one survives to this day.
After college, I did not really paint again..I did make a few crafty things, learned to quilt and sewed alot of my kids clothes.
About 35 years went by.
It wasn't until I was 51 that I finally "took that oil painting class" that started me on the journey to being a painter today.  I love oils - the texture and lusciousness of the  paint itself is so sensual and lovely. Plus, there's that whole "do-over" possibility with oils that you don't get with some other mediums. I make lots of mistakes, so I appreciate this quality.
That's probably enough information for one post.   I thought you'd get a kick out of these old childish drawings, as I did when I discovered them.
I always wonder, if I'd continued to paint instead of having that 35 year hiatus in the middle, where would I be now?

2 comments:

olga said...

Deb, this is a fascinating(sp?) story. Thank you for sharing. The first watercolors are wonderful. Silly those who didn't point it to you back then...

Deb said...

Hey my friend, thanks! And congrats on your win at Crosstimbers! woohoo!!
I am still not quite back to "normal" (whatever that is) running. Still feel it a little in the damaged lung and running downhill hurts the shoulder. But hopefully it'll continue to improve.