I didn't get a degree in art. I wasn't encouraged to pursue that avenue and was always told to be responsible and have something else to fall back on too. Oh gosh, that was a lot of pressure to handle as a young girl.
I did take many lofty sounding classes in high school and college like Trigonometry, Calculus, Zoology, Study of History, Psychology, Political Science, and I did alright in them but there was always something missing. And I think I was kind of like the example that if you keep TV from your kid when they're growing up or candy/junk food, or something is kept taboo then they're/I was just going to have to get into it as soon as the people who controled me in my life were no longer there to enforce the rules. The people were my parents and teachers.
Maybe it was like that or . . .
maybe it was just the programming had worn off. After I did everything I was told, I lived with someone (never supposed to do that back then) for a little while before we got married, and a few months later moved into a hippie commune (way after they were in), lived there for four years, up and moved away across the country, got pregnant with our first kid, moved back to where our family and friends were, had a second kid and THEN, it became OK to do things for myself. I guess I had done what you're supposed to do and then I had enough.
I started out small, very small but of course it wasn't enough. When the kids were little I crocheted, made things with them out of shrink plastic and made a few pairs of earrings for friends because I didn't care much for the things I could buy in stores. I had different ideas and I wasn't going to settle for what there was out there. I made some puppets, then some fancy pillows and every year I made things for the people who were closest to me . . . my mother-in-law, my sister, my best friend, my kid's teacher.
After the kids were old enough to be left for a few days with their dad, I did that and went on my first week long adventure to take a ceramic class with Suze Lindsay at the Laloba Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. WOW! What a week and what exciting things we did and made. I don't really have a bearing on where those photos are. It's all in my head now.
Then I found Artfest and after a few years of that I branched out to other retreats and classes and followed my nose to what I thought would be the next thing I needed to know.
I think I've been doing this for about 12 years altogether and I have enjoyed myself and kept on learning. I am an artist, that's for sure. Nothing makes me feel as excited as the promise of new ideas, new constructions and new conversations and discoveries yet to be made.
That's why I journal.
That's why I paint and take so many photographs.
That's why I use PMC.
That's why I learned to use the torch, and the hydraulic press, and how to saw metal and wood.
. . . why I learned to set stones and shape and carve them . . . and collect them too
this is a setting I made in Nanz Aalund's class at the Mendocino Art Center in August
. . . and here's another one from the same class
That's why I make rings.
RAW 39/52 - lilypadz ring
RAW 40/52 - "love you" rock ring
That's why I'm on the computer so much.
That's why I like to read books on all of these subjects.
That's why I go all over the place to get the information, knowledge, and brushes with people who were there before me and have something I'm looking for.
. . . made in Thomas Mann's "Found Object Sandwich" class at Art is ...YOU! in Petaluma last week
I made this one too in that two day class!
And that's why I buy things I love.
A brooch by Thomas Mann.
I have an art practice. I think about art and about making art most of the time now. You practice to get good at something and you get happy when you get to do something you're good at. A lot of things fall into place then.
I wonder how my kids are going to get where they want to go? There are so many steps. But then thinking about how I got mine, I think they're going to have the energy to get what they want out of life. I hope they get as excited about it as I have.