I was in 6th grade and it was art day. Now let me tell you I loved art - my schoolwork was always covered in doodles. So today was going to be a good day. My class got to art and the teacher gave us an assignment of making a collage using the different materials she had on hand. I really enjoyed it until...
Until the teacher came around and picking up mine and a boy's collage, she very snidely said, "I like boys' art better because they use brighter colors than girls do". On another occasion, she attacked my environmental poster, making fun of it (my theme was "Trees Need To Breathe Too"). I came to dislike art day and especially that teacher.
|From my covered bridge painting|
Fast forward to high school. I was in a crafts class. Now let me tell you, this teacher knew how to encourage her students. I loved her. So much so, when she told me I should take Art so I could learn the basics, I did although I didn't really want to (previous bad experience). Unfortunately, Art was a blowoff class and the teacher was one with little imagination. He made fun of my "Butterfly Dragon" because that is not how dragons looked. Sigh.
|"Don't Wake The Dragon" I just had fun with this one!|
I became convinced I'd never be a good artist but I could be good at crafts. I made wooden Christmas ornaments and other wood things and it was fun. And yet, something burned within me. I wanted more. I didn't want to just copy someone else's design - I wanted to paint my own. I now know God was nudging me to become who He created me to be - an artist.
|Croquet Holder from Trash|
|Dog Art On A Cart|
My mom passed away when I was forty and something just snapped in me. I wasn't going to put off the things I'd always wanted to learn anymore. I took horseback lessons (such joy!) and then decided to try watercolor classes. Thus began my journey into becoming an artist.
|"Garden Wagon" watercolor|
I still had poor teachers that pushed their styles instead of helping me develop mine.
|I really don't like this painting. This is one where I had to do what the teacher did and when I deviated from hers (what can I say -I didn't want a carbon copy of hers), she got mad at me. So frustrating!|
Then one day, a friend told me about a new art school that had opened up near me. "You should go try them out", she told me. Why not? I thought, so I called and set up a time to go talk to the owner. Best.thing. ever. John was encouraging and positive and completely put me at my ease. Finally through his teaching, I felt confident enough to call myself an artist.
|"Midnight's Journey" First painting I did without tracing any images just |
drew with paint. I was so scared but my teacher told me I could do it!
And guess what? I did!
Which brings me to now. What's next? It's a little scary thinking about working to become a thriving artist. But God is faithful and has put a wonderful mentoring group in front of me. It is just what I need at this stage. I'm excited even if a little afraid. (What if I fail?)
|"Morning Meditation" I love the suggestion of this one -|
meeting up with God in the stillness of a misty morning.
At the same time, wonderful KariAnne over at Thistlewood Farms invited me to be part of her book launch team #SoCloseToAmazing. In it, there's a quote that has spoken volumes to me.
I'm not alone! God's got this. He's been leading me this whole journey: the mean teachers, the ones who didn't have the vision to teach beyond their style, the gifted, talented, and encouraging one who taught me to how to be an artist, and now this artist mentoring group. (btw - I did learn from each one in spite of bad teaching styles - well, except for that 6th grade teacher). I finally feel I'm on the right path and can truly become the artist God created me to be.
|"Pushing Up Daisies"|
|Tin Roof Studio|
Thanks for reading about my journey. Next week, I'll have a painting to share with you.