This blog is my portfolio of artwork, a journal about my process of making art...and the things that I have no words for...


Sunday, February 03, 2013

Tell All...





Follow Your Bliss...


To tell all—let me tell you a story—
Evening Blue and Gold, 2010
I was that little kid in school who failed to follow the directions...

Here I am, me and my messy hair, Kindergarten picture, Lyons Elementary School, Lyons, NY, 1967
All the other children made pictures of the Easter Bunny while I went my own way and made the Easter Brontosaurus—you better believe I caught hell for that because I didn’t follow the directions. The other kids giggled and said I was weird. I was miserable—but I loved my drawing anyway. My mother made a pillow and embroidered my picture on it. She "got it". I wanted to draw what I wanted to draw, and that day, I wasn’t interested in drawing bunnies.

Me at the Delavan Art Gallery, Syracuse NY, 2006 (The hair is still wicked.)
The Easter Bronto was just the beginning. I went to art school—Cazenovia College for the first two years. I spent this time getting my feet wet learning how to use the tools and the vast opportunities from Studio Art, Illustration, Design—I learned a lot and knew what I wanted to do—I wanted to paint in the studio, making paintings from inside because there was stuff in there that only I could see, like ghosts or something, I didn't know for sure. I struggled with the restrictive parameters of school projects—I wasn’t into the deadline inspired commercial art part, tho’ I was totally in awe of the technical skills of my classmates—they were so polished compared to my higgledy-piggledy attempts that never looked quite right. Moving on, I was still exploring my ideas—

Then I went on to being an upperclassman in Studio Art at Syracuse University—and while there, I had one professor declare that painting was dead (as in the traditional way of fine art making.) So I spent two years flailing paint around anyway in spite of this one person who had a very high opinion of himself, and indicated to me that “If you want to make pretty pictures, you should major in Visual Communications.” Which, as you know, I had already chosen not to pursue. I stuck it out—it was almost my creative undoing, but looking back on that willful frustrated me—if I knew then what I know now, would I have been as frustrated? Probably. I was in a mood to “get on with it.” I knew what I wanted to do, but didn’t know how and needed the time to work it out on my own without the non-constructive commentary. I wasn't looking for praise—although I tried to please—I really didn’t like taking direction. Like I was an old soul that had come back and had no patience going through all of this again. I was very frustrated, extremely disappointed and disillusioned, but I found rare moments of joy in my studio—often painting things out of spite. I was very raw.

I’m still that little kid with the messy hair that my mom could never tame, the kid who wanted to draw the Easter Bronto rather than the Easter Bunny (neither one exists so what difference does it make who’s hiding colored eggs and passing out baskets of candy!)



Joy, 2006, pencil drawing

The Heart of Everything That Is..., 2007, pencil drawing

The Fifth, 2008, mixed media
And so now many years later, I’m doing the things that I wanted to do then, but didn’t know how—or was afraid to because of someone else's disapproval was always likely to be involved.


Making Progress, 2010

 I said to myself, I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me—shapes and ideas so near to me—so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught. — Georgia O'Keeffe

Full Moon, 2010


There is more than blue going on in that sky..., 2010


I met a young lady at a friend’s opening a couple of weeks ago. She was very interesting, a dichotomy of life's textures, hard and fragile—dusky green-blond hair, lots of facial hardware, pretty layers of clothes, soft pinks, grays, greens, and lace; the safety pin through the skin on her hand was a little distressing to me as it looked quite angry and fresh. The lack of eye contact spelled out a deep pain that I cannot imagine. A friend of mine had taken her under her wing (she has a habit of taking in stray teens who need guidance) she was buying art supplies for her (a sketchbook, pencils, and markers were part of the collection of things she had in her bag.)  While we were chatting, I showed this young lady my recent contribution to the Sketchbook Project—which I felt certain that she needed to see it. She loved it and was a little afraid of it, exclaiming “So delicate!” Then we talked a little more, and I asked what she was going to put into her sketchbook. She didn’t really know. “If I draw what I really think, I’d get into trouble for it.” I totally felt that. So I told her not to listen to that—just do it. “It’s yours, accept it.” I can only hope my brief contact with her made her day, I know it made my night just talking to her because I knew she needed to have that extra positive influence (it felt so good to see the spark in her.)


A River of Falling Stars, 2012

Follow your bliss—
 it’s okay because it’s what you’re meant to do.
Me at Szozda Gallery, 2012


4 comments:

Carole said...

That young girl will remember you and your encouraging words. Such true words we all need to hear now and then. Love that your mom made the pillow of you bronto!

Norbert said...

I love "Evening Blue and Gold" - consider the Like button pressed.

Norbert said...

I love "Evening Blue and Gold" - consider the Like button clicked.
www.norberthaupt.com

Laura J. Wellner (author pseudonym Laura J. W. Ryan) said...

Thanks for stopping by!