This is a series of short posts that will piece together how I ended up in the visual arts. I don’t recall an Ah-Ha situation where I knew from a particular moment that I wanted to be an artist. It just sort of crept up on me. It has now been over 35 years since I pursued art as, at first, a serious avocation then a profession. Along the way I have been very fortunate having experienced many facets of the visual art world. During that time I have also made attempts to leave that world only to be pulled back in somehow. So I will start with my earliest memory and go from there. I will not have much in the way of images for these first few posts.
My first memory of a visual art experience was when I was about seven or eight years old at day camp. Somebody drew a picture of a boat by a large sunset and I thought it was one of the greatest pictures I ever saw. At some point after that, my family was on vacation in Florida and the hotel where we were staying had an art activity/contest so I drew the picture of the boat with the sunset as best as I could remember it. For my efforts, I was awarded “3rd prize” which consisted of a plastic trophy about 8 inches tall with the name of the hotel on it. I immediately felt like a fraud! Even though it was my drawing, I knew the original idea was not my own. I was too young to understand feelings like inspiration and definitely never heard the saying “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. Well, I am by no means a great artist, but I feel I can at least fall into the ‘good’ category at this point so my guilt has since subsided.
The next drawings I can remember were cartoon characters that I liked: Fred Flintstone, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock. The Fred Flintstone one was a challenge. I was copying the front of a Flintstones coloring book and got Fred down fine but was really struggling with the prehistoric bird with its wings wide open that Fred was using as an umbrella.
In grade school, we very occasionally had art. The teacher, Miss Shore, came to our class. I guess it was the same idea as what is now called Art on a Cart. I don’t really remember what types of lessons Miss Shore taught but I do remember that I referred to her with great reverence as a “Real Artist”.
The years this took place were in the mid 1960s and charm bracelets were wildly popular. The idea of charm bracelets was to fill it with charms that were symbolic with things about your personality. Somebody in my family gave me a paint palette to put on my charm bracelet. I must have spent much more time engaged in art that I can recall for someone to notice and give me that charm. Oddly, I do have a photo of that charm bracelet (below). That’s all for now – to be continued.