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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

How I Became an Artist - Part Two

Time to continue the story about my journey as an artist. My journey didn't happen on its own. Along the way the support of family, friends, fellow artists and art lovers made the journey possible. It certainly isn't the greatest or the most interesting, but sometimes creativity takes a while to bloom and in a very slow way. Creativity sometimes gets stopped dead in its tracks by something. It could be something physical or even our own thoughts.  We always seem to put it aside for later, when we have time.  But, is there such a thing as having enough time?  Or what about when we have enough money?  I remember back in the 80's when I was taking a class at a local community college and I had all this left over oil paint that had cost me money.  Well, I was determined to use it all up and I just kept throwing it on the board, all the colors, especially pure white.  When the teacher asked me why I was using white,  I said because I had a lot of it left over and I didn't want it to go to waste.  He smiled and said he had never heard an artist say that. Now I know better.
  • But creativity finds a way.  We just need to be aware of it.
2006 Lopez Student Show at the Coppini
In my post How I  Became An Artist - Part One,  I mentioned how I took pastel classes and started competing.  The competing helped me see where I was as an artist, where I could improve.  A wonderful world had opened up with my pastel classes and I was thirsty for more.  I was in a hurry,  being a late bloomer, I set small goals in my career.  I had 20+ years to catch up on and I may never reach my potential.  I started taking intensive classes with national and international pastelists. I was still raising a family and decided the art in the universities was not for me.  Too much time was required and I didn't like what was being taught.   I wanted to understand the foundation of a painting, from composition, color harmony, values, supports, etc. I decided to concentrate on landscapes for a few years during which I continued to  compete, receiving many awards. I had become a member of the Coppini, and the River Art Group.  In 2005,  I received a Best of Show from the River Art Group.  I was happy, remember I set small goals, once I reach them I move on to the  next one. I had also begun to teach how to paint in pastel in the year 2000 and continue to sponsor an annual pastel art show showcasing my student's work. Teaching keeps me on my toes! 
    At the Richard McKinley Workshop
    APS 2nd Place Award -2007
  • In a Pastel Journal magazine, I read about the Central Texas Pastel Society, and joined them.  That brought me in contact with other pastelists, other techniques and ideas.  To make their Saturday meetings, I had to leave SA at 7 a.m. to get there by 9:30.  I managed to do it a few times, but it was very difficult.  The pastelists were so nice, friendly and ready to share.  I owe them a lot.  Then I became a member of the Austin Pastel Society and continued to learn.  Through these groups I came into contact with top pastelists which certainly kept me humble with all they could do with pastel. Fulfilling your art dreams isn't cheap. My financial goal was always to make enough from my art for my pastel supplies and to keep me learning while also contributing something to the household budget. That's what I wanted but along the way you learn to compromise while staying as true to your creativity as possible.
Colleen Howe workshop
CTPS tour of the Owen's studio in Marble Falls
The idea of a south Texas pastel society was starting to take hold.  I knew there were many pastelists in the area and felt sure they also wanted a pastel society close by.  Again, supported by family and fellow pastelists, we started the Texas Pastel Society in 2008. All worked hard to get it going and hopefully it will continue for a long time with others taking on the challenge. We have had the satisfaction of giving south Texas pastelists a boost.
  • And here I am in 2011, what are my next goals?  Solo exhibitions, my own workshops, more pastel classes and more competitions? Time will tell.  I will continue to learn, to teach, to share and to be happy with what has been achieved by a late bloomer.
Happy painting and hang in there!