Ever since I can remember, I have always drawn, painted or otherwise tried to express my imagination through some form of aesthetic reality. Art has always been a part of me and always will be. It is not that art expression is something special in me, I feel that it is an intrinsic part of our humanity and that everyone has art in their nature. Wide expression takes training, but the capacity exists in everyone.
I am not a formally trained artist. When I was young and drawing, in the first attempts that we usually do — copying the art of others or sketching the lines of photographs by eye — I never received much in the way of feedback or support. I took that as tacit response that I was no good at it. My father “hrrumpfed” and went back to what he was doing. Art teachers in early school were overworked and passing time. I stopped focusing on that as a goal. To express the creative side of my self I went into the cosmetology business — and got stuck there for twenty years! In everything I did, I was always creating, however. I used to paint miniatures on clients fingernails; highly detailed works of their pets and many different things. I have painted something in most of the homes I lived in, and expressed my sensations of, and desire for color, light and form with craft and decoration. Through all of that I gained the sensibilities of art that I employ to this day. When cosmetology no longer answered my art expression needs, I decided to do murals. What the heck — go from painting the tiniest miniatures to full scale wall murals … why not?! I learned a lot about art while doing those murals. What constituted communication of a mood or expression, and what was merely craft. I have received my training through doing, and I hope to be training in and learning art for the rest of my life.
I do become driven when I am in the middle of a piece, but if I had to state what drives me or propels me, it would be that my most outstanding inspiration has been love. OK … for the more pragmatic of my readers, let me qualify that as “affinity”. My creations of art, when they had any impact at all, have been borne on the back of the immense degree of affinity that I have had for the person or persons that I was creating it for. Painting for children’s stories found me while I was doing murals in private homes, offered by two bright and intelligent authors that I adored.
Whether it was a mural in a child’s room or creating the illustrations of a book, there was always someone that I was painting that for; someone whose delight I could imagine at the end of the work. Like making music, it has a degree less joy when there is no one singing along. You’ll know when you are creating your best artwork, because you will think less on the piece itself and more on the person or audience that will receive it in the end.