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. You can read the first post in this series here.articular 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. You can read the first post in this series here.
When I went to college I choose a school with a very good dietary program but decided not to declare a major right away since I wasn’t really sure. This greatly distressed the school administration so I had to take tests to see where my career interests were. The nun who was my academic advisor read me the results and said I should go into the Arts. I immediately dismissed the idea because I really had no concept of what that meant. My parents really could not assist because all they knew was that it was good to go to college and they really did not care what I went for as long as I attended and graduated from a college. I figured I could just keep taking Liberal Arts classes until I figured things out because I had to take those courses anyway, but that didn’t seem like something the school was crazy about. So I decided to leave school to mull things over, which did not make my parents happy. So I enrolled in another school that had a good dietary program but left there too after a semester of taking more liberal arts classes.
Oddly in that year of school, I never took a visual arts class but I did do art on my own. When I lived at school, I was a little homesick so I remember becoming very engaged in a collage I made on a poster board (to give an idea of the size) of Philadelphia, using old copies of Philadelphia Magazine as material. When I no longer lived at school, I sat at our kitchen table to paint. One particular painting was a view of a street lined with stores. It didn’t really exist, it was something I made up but I think I was challenging myself to show perspective as the stores were on a steep angle and they got smaller as they receded on the picture plane. I recall the name I put on one of the stores “Kathy’s Lingerie”. I was using poster paints so the colors were very chalky, flat and bright and there was a cartoony-folk aspect to it that I think still shows up in my work today. But all in all, it was a terrible painting. My mother hung it up anyway, but not on the refrigerator since I was about 18 or 19 years old at the time.
My oldest sister (the one from the museum opening), was taking painting classes from an elderly man at a community center. His emphasis was on portraiture and he was a very good portrait painter. I went to a class two or three times but his method really didn’t interest me much because I was not interested in portraits. My sister enjoyed the classes and seemed to get a lot out of them.