Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 12, 2008

When I started out as an artist I studied graphic design with the intention of going into typography. I left Pratt Institute and moved to central Pennsylvania to continue studying graphic design at Penn State. The head of the graphic design department was a memorable teacher who made me question my passion for art and whether I could truly lead a creative lifestyle. (A few years ago I read a book by Chip Kidd called The Cheese Monkeys: A Novel In Two Semesters which was about this very teacher and art program) Years went by and I tried to stifle creativity. Then about 3 or 4 years later I decided to take a basic weaving class. After the first class was over I decided to study fibers learn to spin, took more classes at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona studying color, fibers, weaving patterns, etc.

It wasn't until my daughter entered kindergarten that I started to paint after being encouraged by a few neighbors and friends who wanted to start an art critique group. My first paintings were graphic stylized representations of animals with different patterns: lizards, chicken heads, frogs, fish, etc. The lines were all even and basically they were flat painted patterns.

As happens I was influenced by some of the other members in the art critique group. One woman Sue Matsui would painted these fun narratives in miniature with detailed plates of food, scenes from medieval stories and little slices of life. I started to see the potential of art as a more expressive medium. Graphic Design is all about form and function and the only meaning is that you need to buy an item or idea whereas painting has no such boundaries. My first "real" piece of art was done in 1998. I used acrylic paint and painted over a small broken metal toy that had been discarded by my daughter. I titled this piece "The Housewife".