I remember the moment. While riding in our family car in White Crik, NY, I saw a woman with an easel by the side of the road. I pressed my nose against the window and said,”I want to do that.”
In 4th grade, I got a C on a science report primarily because I had drawn a horrible sketch of the common house fly.
In 5th grade, I walked around with a sketch pad. Horses were my passion and I was determined to sketch them. A few of the sketches weren’t bad.
In 6th grade, we were asked to copy a drawing of our choice for a wildlife exhibit. During the art class, the instructor told us to turn the sample picture upside down and copy just what we saw. Mine was an outstanding reproduction! It was then I became an artist. I now knew how to view the world and never forgot it.
In 7th and 8th grades, I was one of the two best artists. The other girl,Nancy, had a professional artist for a mother. Her vision was inherited or learned at home. Mine was inspired by my desire for it.
As time went on, I was the family “go to” for posters and signs. I played with sketches but had yet to paint.
I was expecting my first child when I sat on our camp porch with acrylic paints and produced a Grandma Moses like scene of the lake. I used the same “only what you see” philosophy and my keen eye for color. It worked! Wish I had a photo of it handy.
I had sporadic bouts of painting from then on. (I am a “try new things” fanatic so there were ebbs and tides in my interest.)
My mother shared a VHS tape she made of an A&E special about the Impressionist artists. She knew I’d enjoy it. (Don’t know if she realized how much?) When I watched it (about 20 times) I felt a thrill inside. My inner voice kept saying,”I can do that!”. I knew just what those artists felt. It was a primal hunger, a connection to something. It was easy for me to understand those artists’ failings in other of their life choices because of their painting “drive”.
During this short obsession, I watched the movie Pollock starring Ed Harris. My inner “fireworks” stirred again. I felt that I understood. I enjoy movies immensely but I was totally lost within that one, more than any other since then.
I am certain those juices will boil again when I have more free time. I hope to find that very A&E special on DVD. I wore out that VHS tape a few years ago and I believe it will always be an inspiration.
In the meantime, I am writing. It is very similar to painting. Words are my colors for the moment.