Monday, April 08, 2013


I first started making art in 2003. I began with collage as a way to explore my feelings as I was going through my divorce and dealing with a lot of difficult emotional issues at the time.

Over time, I moved from collage into drawing and playing with acrylics and water color. I experimented with glue books and cards (a form of collage) and with manipulating my art digitally to see what effects I could get. I also went through a phase of adding words to my drawings, some quotes, but mostly random fragments of stories and ideas that went through my head.

As my earliest pieces show, I had no clue what I was doing. I simply wanted to tap into some different aspect of myself that wasn't logical and analytical. I was in a phase of doing things differently and art was part of that process.

I started posting to this blog in 2004, mostly as a way to keep an online portfolio and a sort of notebook of my progress. My earliest entries focused on the mechanics of a piece. Later, as I branched out more, I began to bring in some context, discussing my motivations (or sometimes lack of motivation) and my emotions around a piece.

The last time I posted to this blog was in 2006. I went through a LONG dry spell with art--a period where I even gave away all of my art supplies and decided that I was probably finished with that part of my life. I kept this blog though as my own private space for seeing the person I once was.

Then a few years ago,  I began painting and drawing again. Not sure why or where the impulse came from, but it returned with a vengeance and I began working almost daily in my art journals and even started working on large canvases with acrylics.

For awhile, I've uploaded my pieces to Facebook, but decided I wanted to try returning here to catalog my process as well. Facebook is fine for sharing what I'm doing with friends, but it's not the space for reflecting on what I'm creating or having a sort of "online gallery."

In preparation for posting new work here, I began going through my old posts. As someone who prides herself on her competence, it's painful to see how laughably INCOMPETENT I was when I started. I seriously considered deleting all of the old work and starting over fresh.

But I decided that for me, it's important to see the trajectory of my creative process. The juxtaposition of my earliest attempts with where I am now shows me how I've made progress and what happens when you focus on regular practice of your craft. I'm nowhere near where I want to be right now, but at the same time, I've come so far from where I was.

I also believe that art isn't about creating pretty competent work. It's about expressing yourself as best you can with the tools and skills you have at your disposal. Although those earlier pieces may be lacking in technical competency, at the same time, they capture essential pieces of who I was and what I was exploring during those years. To delete them would be to delete that part of my artistic and personal progress.

I still consider myself an Accidental Artist--someone who fell into art rather than someone who was born knowing she was an artist. I think we need more of us in the world. Art is something so beautifully human and the process of making art so wonderfully cathartic and transformative. I wish that all of us had access to that child within who uses crayons and paint and clay to explore who we are and the world around us.

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