Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I Adore Sunflowers. Don't you?


I had not used colored pencils for many years and then only to color in maps and graphs in school.

Last year I started carrying a sketchbook with me to draw and doodle during the "slow" times at work. I can't stand to sit and not be doing something.

Colored pencils were the only medium I could think to use besides crayons.

Portable and blendable.

I was hooked.

I use Crayola brand, started with the 12 pack, then quickly progressed to the 50 pack.

Then I found real "artist" kind of colored pencils... at $3 or more a stick.

Guess what? The expensive kind didn't blend as well and the Crayola Brand.

It's All About Me

I am a single mom of a teenage daughter. I have had a passion for drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. Do you remember the ads for "Draw this picture" in magazines and matchbooks? I was drawing those in the 1st and 2nd grade. My mother brought me a learn to draw kit around that time, using charcoal. I can still see that stilllife I copied. Pumpkins, gourds, etc. all in shades of black, white, and gray.

Victor Ward was my first "real" art teacher. That was in Junior High, 7th thru 9th grade. With Sylvia Potter, a wonderful enigma artist, who pushed and challenged me from 10th grade through graduation. It was in High School I discovered oils. Oh how I love that medium.

During my years in High School I was fortunate enough to explore many mediums... watercolor, pottery, jewelry making, but not beading... silver pendants and copper based Cloisonne. I still have many pieces from that time.

Then on to the big wide world of college. I attended the University of Northern Iowa. An Art Major.

What a shock that was. I was a painter of "what you see is what you get" well, at least my view of it.

One professor for drawing and painting in my sophomore year was only interested in Abstracts... Abstracts got the A's. I still heard my own drummer. Didn't get A's. Although I did some awesome night lightning, white, and grays. 36x36 acrylic.

Gave it away. Turned down $350. The guy I gave it too designed his living room around that piece. Then he married and last time I saw it... it was in his parent's basement, not hung, leaning against a wall. Probably sold at a yard sale. Sigh.

But I do have a sketch around here somewhere.

I didn't graduate. No bachelor of fine arts, even though I spent 3 years, well technically 2 1/2 years years there as a student.

As a sophomore I was a Resident Advisor, as a junior I moved off campus and the second semester of that year I toured the US and Mexico with "Campus On Wheels". I did have a soft sculpture piece hung in the student union the summer between sophomore and junior year, "Ode to Jim's Comb"... Black silk comb, with many teeth missing... 4 feet x 2 feet... With wide and narrow teeth. I got an A. I loved that professor. I can see his face I just can't remember his name.

I lived in Cedar Falls for what would have been my senior year, moved back to my hometown and started working on a "real" life of the working girl while going to rodeos on the weekends camera and sketchbook never to far away.

Worked for THE phone company inside and outside. Yep, I was a Installer/Repairman and climbed telephone poles. I was also an operator and a bartender, but not at the same time.

Moved to Texas, went to rodeos, learned to team rope, worked the bucking chutes and stripping chute, got married, lived & worked on a Dairy, operated a horse boarding and training stable, drove a school bus, had a darling daughter, sold Tri-Chem craft paint and taught many classes of fabric and craft painting, showed horses, bought the farm, taught riding lessons, got a divorce, worked from home, got a real job... Lived life and dabbled.

So I might not have the degrees you see on "other" Artists' sites. But I have rappelled in Utah, Mexico, South Texas, rafted the Rio Grande, survived the Santa Elena canyon, ( I rode the raft, didn't do the portage), hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon while a blizzard blanketed the rim, climbed to the top of the Temple of the Sun outside of Mexico City, and way to many other things to list here.

I am an artist, who will always be in transition. I dabbled in a lot of different mediums way back then and I still do ... Always learning... Trying new things... Always have new ideas of something to do. An enigma.

So's here's my list:

Painting~ Oils, Acrylic, Craft Paint

Drawing~ pencil, pastels, charcoal, pen and ink, started using colored pencils in 2004,

Collage~multi medium, even used egg shells a time or two

Pottery~ prefer a kick wheel .... I would have loved to be a potter.

Sculpture~ soft, paper-mache, wax, ... did one clay to plaster bust, very hard work, a long story to go with it

Jewelry~ silver, cloisonne

Watercolor~ used ink, coke, with watercolor paints for a bit... great effects. Painting of Pioneer Seed Corn Company hung in the Toledo, Ia. office for years... Okay, till my Mom retired.

Printing~ carved linoleum block


Probably others that I am forgeting.

And then I decided Crafts were also an ART form...

Crocheting was first, actually learned how in High School art class. Thank you again, Sylvia Potter.

Counted Cross-stitch

Stamped Cross-stitch

Fabric Painting... sold Tri-Chem and taught classes for a few years

Bisque Ware~ painted with that's an interesting technique


Dry Embossing




Most recently I learned to knit... scarves are all I have done so far...12 done and I am about ready to try hats.

And the list goes on. I am hooked on ART and a lot of it's forms.

Now it's colored pencils and knitting. I just bought new acrylics and got out my brushes. I have canvas stretched and ready. I just want my studio cleaned out and then I'm off to paint. (studio is a converted garage full of stuff)

Oh and I would love to weld junk in to sculptures...someday. But in the mean time I will collect junk.