This was a suggestion from my son, that I write a bit about my creative beginnings. For as long as I can remember I have been very artistic. My first introduction to the art world was my “etch-a-sketch”. Goodness how I loved that thing. It was a Christmas gift when I was a child.
Somewhere in that pile of presents is my etch-a-sketch all wrapped up and waiting to unleash my creative genius. I must have been 6 years old and I knew I wanted to draw. Art being my favorite subject in school, which probably led to major problems when it came time for other subjects. But I didn’t care I just wanted to draw.
I entered every school contest that had to do with drawing and won a few of them I might add. The first one was a contest about eating healthy foods. All my carrots and veggies turned into cartoon characters playing in a park, swinging on swings and going down the slide. They were great (I hate vegetables) but my veggie characters were the cutest, I even had an onion crying on the teeter totter. I did a portrait of Queen Elizabeth for my next contest and I remember winning a pure silver dollar. That to me was huge! I never saw that silver dollar again once I took it home though. My mother probably squirreled it away for when I got older, but I haven’t seen it again.
Once I got a little older at about grade 7 my first real art teacher was a Mr. Brown. He inspired me immensely. The patience this man had was unbelievable. He taught me about perspective, color and many more of the finer details of drawing. He is still alive back in my hometown and still inspiring the citizens that live in the seniors complex he lives at. Here is a link to his story that made the local news back in Collingwood, Ontario.
Going into high school I continued with my art but I missed Mr. Brown terribly. I ended up getting a female art teacher and I assume she was good but I wouldn’t know as she took an instant dislike to me and every chance she got she would belittle me. She even said I was not allowed any art paper so I spent the rest of art class down at the principles office. Grade 10 was different though I had a different teacher who then recognized my talent and led me down a different avenue. He showed me batik, oil painting and anything to get my juices flowing again. I entered another contest that year and did an oil painting of my little sister sitting on a huge wooden child’s building block. It truly was beautiful. All the art pieces entered were to be displayed at the local Art Gallery until the judging. Somehow mine was stolen right from the gallery and was not even judged. That at that time was a huge blow, but in hindsight I guess it was a compliment.
After I left high school I really did not do much art. I spent most of my time being a very misguided youth. Then I was introduced to a wonderful group home that I went to live in. It was located in Toronto, Ontario. It was called the Sancta Maria House. This was where I learned kindness to others and they were kind to me. They hooked me up with a commercial art course at George Brown College and that was the best year of my young life. But the course did not take me anywhere really. I just could not do the cut and paste thing that was required for a job with the only experience a 9 month course gave no matter how much talent one has. I did get into sign painting for awhile and loved that but once signs started getting into the more advanced modern all lit up kind no one wanted hand painted signs anymore.
Adulthood came along, I grew up and had 2 wonderful boys. Art did not take a huge priority till a few years ago. Then the bug hit again but in a different form. I wanted to make stuff. Make stuff with my hands, build stuff from scratch. Paper mache, frames made from barn board. A table from old singer sewing machine. Sew and create crazy Halloween costumes. Lamp shades from thrift store crochet doilies. Bird feeders from vintage glass lamp shades. If you can find something in a thrift store you can be sure I am reinventing it into some form of art.
That my friends is my life in the art world up to now. Now I have this site which is my outlet. A reason to make stuff. It feels like I have come home. Settled in to a place I love.