I took an art break to go to an art talk of a friend of mine recently. When asked about her work, she mentioned that she wasn’t into sketching. There was a time that she had used small brushes, and a lot of detail in her work. During that time, she realized that the art process wasn’t fun for her and that she dreaded going into the studio. A friend gave her a palette knife and her experience changed from dread to rapture. I raised my hand and said that you don’t have to draw to be an artist. That if you find passion in the way you create your art, then do it. A few people spoke to me afterwards, surprised at my comment. I love to draw and doodle and this continues into my work. but it is not for everyone. Many times, before I begin a session, I doodle into my sketchbook. I have many books. I doodle, draw out of my head, and also use parts of photo images I have taken while out sketching. This is my way. My head is crowded with images and if I don’t draw everyday, I go down a rocky cliff, a low feeling that can’t be described. I also walk Pickles, my dog, my trusted sidekick who stays with me while I paint.
I also do a walking exercise on a strange machine called an elliptical machine 3 or 4 times a week. After standing and sitting at an easel for 8 or more hours, I have to move. I have these incredibly large earphones that I wear and I do the machine while listening to a DVD. I love any kine of science fiction but am especially fond of superhero movies. The length of the movie is my time on the machine. This is what I do to ease all the stuff inside me. All this “stuff” is a mix of memories from my growing up but it is also what makes me who I am. The handling of the “stuff” is also who I have chosen to be. It’s like choosing to sketch and use little brushes or picking up a palette knife. We are always finding our way. No one figures it out. Some opt out but it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The life part, managing on that shoe string budget, paying bills, raising children, and getting out of the “stuff”, keeps it real. It is not easy. I know from my own life that each one of us is struggling and succeeding and learning. Our creative endeavors help to make sense of the meaning of life here on planet Earth.
The best part of my life was when I became a mother. I have always created art but did not exhibit until after he was born. He is 27 now. Odd to even say it. The time flew. I felt love on a level I never knew I was capable of. I love being a mom and even though he is a wonderful adult, I will always happily be his mom and am proud of that. Seeing Spencer grow up was a joy. I connected with other moms, cried and laughed and learned about love, forgiveness, acceptance of the things we can’t change and appreciation of what we can do and of what we have. Through my life, I have worked. I have done electrolysis, worked as a nanny, did a short stint of hospice care , worked as a waitress, sold shoes, worked with autistic adults for a time, taught art to kids, done commissions, handled life emergencies of my own and others, exhibited my work, attended exhibits of artist colleagues and on and on. My growing up was a strange experience. Let’s just say it was surreal. As an adult, I have lived in the worst of places and seen things in life that were probably not the best things to see.
I once lived in a boarding house in Plainsville New Jersey. I was born and raised in LA so was not from there. I went to visit a relative but didn’t have enough money to get home, so I took a job at the Blue Star Shopping Center as a sales clerk. I was 19 years old and trying to cope with a few things, lol. I was probably the only young woman in the boarding house that worked. I would come home each night to find the same 20 something tenant on the front lawn passed out. I and another boarder would help get him to his room. We all go through things and no one can understand another person’s life completely. All one can do is appreciate the good things in life and do our best.
I am a loyal friend. I have friends from all walks of life. I know artists, writers, curators, and have kept my childhood friends as well as my amazing mom friends. Our kids are grown but we still hang out. I appreciate and love the people in my life because they are family and continue to teach me how to enjoy my time here on this planet. When I lose someone, I grieve for them because their presence made my life and other people’s lives better. Their stories fuel my work. I have learned the strategies mentioned above to keep the nightmares at bay. All this makes me who I am and creates my doodles, my paintings. I appreciate all amazing moments. and love when others succeed. Their success is mine.
These are my “Moms” I have known them for over 20 years. Not in the art world but an important part of who I am today as a person.
I know so many creatives that it would take pages and pages of pictures to post all the special people I am grateful to know. Instead I post “Miles” , 48″ x 24″, a mixed media painting about an artist with a gentle and loving demeanor whose work I admire, Miles Regis.
I take great joy in little brushes and doodling small shapes for hours and hours. I love sketching. It is not for everyone so be true to yourself. Paint, photograph, write, act, sing, dance, and shout out loud but do it because you are driven to do it and break the rules and live life. Just be who you are and the creating will be honest. ENJOY YOUR TRIP!!
Shows coming up:
“PARTITA”, a postcard art show and fundraiser for Durden and Ray
Curators: Roni Feldman, Alanna Marcelletti, Valerie Wilcox
Durden and Ray, 1206 Maple Ave., #832, Los Angeles, CA, 90015
Reception Date: Saturday, December 8, 6-9PM
“Kitsch-In-Sync: Art and its Opposite
Coastline Community College Art Gallery,
Curator: Bradford J Salamon
Reception Date: Saturday, January 26, 6PM-9PM
1515 Monrovia Ave., Newport Beach, CA 92663