My Journey in the Visual Arts: Part 5 of 10

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.


I got married very young and my husband was (and still is) very big on hobbies so I delved deeper into art. I was intrigued by pen and ink drawings and he bought me a pen holder and nibs. I also had this book called Rendering in Pen and Ink that I would read and do exercises from. My general interest in the Humanities also grew. We were at 30th Street Station waiting for a train to New York for our honeymoon and spotted a bookstore with used books where he bought me a old textbook simply called The Humanities. I still have my pen nibs and that book so here is a photo of them.


There was an outdoor art show called the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Annual which took place every June. There was an artist there who drew in pen and ink. I believe her name was Karyl but I cannot remember her last name. Anyway, I took her card and called her and asked if I could bring some of my pen drawings to show her. She was very kind and invited me to her home and looked at my work and was very encouraging. She suggested I try a class at one of the local art schools. One thing about this encounter is sort of amusing to me now. About a dozen years later I found myself not only in the Rittenhouse show but serving on the board and chairing the show for a few years. Below is a pen and ink drawing I did around this time (1979). Thanks to sister number 2 for this!

I worked during the day but signed up for two night classes at Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts). One was a life class and another was a lettering class. I liked the life class more than the lettering class and often asked a friend of ours to pose for me. There was a local drafting school I looked into as well but realized that drafting was far too technical for me.


4 thoughts on “My Journey in the Visual Arts: Part 5 of 10

    1. Thanks Claudia. I did enjoy doing them but do not think I would have the patience for them now. At the time, I did not understand etching but I think if I had, it would have appealed to me a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Diane, these posts are wonderful. I think it’s important to get these memories down while you can still make sense of them. The 2 drawings in Post #5 are stunning. BTW, I well remember that old book store at 30th Street; such a shame it went away long ago, but it was a great idea. Keep posting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anders. My friend Claudia encouraged me to post these memories. I was really trying to figure out how I got into this business at all! I am glad you remember that book store. Sometimes I wonder if I am mis-remembering things.


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