Thursday, July 12, 2012

Roots Pt.2

 This is part 2 of yesterdays post "finding my Roots"

At one point in my life I wanted to be a carpenter. But that was not the girly thing to do. But I did need to work. I worked a few years in a hardware store. While there, I learned everything I could about paint. Its qualities, and how colors mix and compliment each other. I learned about wood. White pine, yellow pine, spruce, teak, you name it. I knew about their properties and their best uses. (Ask me now, I couldn't tell you) But wood was not about just building houses and fences. Wood was art. I used wood scraps to make things. Mostly boxes. I also used scraps to make what I called assembled art, and where paint was not available, collage did the job.  Still these works were just for me. People at that time were still into palm trees and tropical flowers. I was not sure if these clunky things would be accepted by anyone. And what would I do with all these boxes and so called pieces of "art" when they are done? So just stopped!

Enter the Internet and the digital age. I discovered photoshop. The almighty photoshop. You could call it luck or not, but someone give me their program. Just gave it to me. "Here take it - I'm upgrading my system for the latest of everything". Wow. That's when the digital love affair began. By then I was working with a company where my job was solely computer based. Eight hours on a computer everyday. In the evenings I went home to study. By then there was a threesome of kids. So every night after I put them to bed, I would be Learning everything I could about photoshop until midnight. Talk about commitment huh? I learned how to make scrapbooking elements, digital papers, alter and restore photos, textures and special effects. Yes my new love - no need to get messy with glue, and there was always an extensive color pallet at my disposal.

One day my fingers turned blue. I can giggle about it now but it was not funny at the time. I was at work, concentrating on an intense project on the computer of course when I realized I was not feeling anything in my fingers, and they were a strange color. A kind of grayish blue. What the....? I later learned that I was beginning to have circulation and pinched nerve issues. Some thing had to give and it had to be the photoshop. After all I had to make a living, and I needed to heal the muscles that were becoming damaged.

About one year later a new twist.

The last installment of this unexpected long tail will be tomorrow
Cause it still leads to something I promise

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Going Back To My Roots

In all of the searching and experimenting I've done, while looking for my style, my artistic style that is, it seems that I have come full circle from where I began. You see, in order for you to understand, I need to give some background about how it all began.

I have always been an artist, but never been trained. Way back in the older days, art was not something that was given much attention to in my school, and note it was one of the best schools on the island. Did I mention that I am from a tiny little island in the Caribbean? Yes it is so.
Back in my days, art was for losers. You told anyone that you wanted to pursue a career in art, they would look at you funny. Art was a taboo thing, a thing for people not right in their head, a thing not prestigious enough, a thing you can't make a living off get the picture. You needed to be a name: a lawyer, a doctor, someone who can make a contribution to society.

On the other hand if you were accepted into the art hall of fame in my tiny little country, you were painting beach scenes and coconut trees. (Those hall of famer's were usually expats from Britain or America) How could you resist the calm of a lovely blue landscape of the beautiful Caribbean sea? I taught myself how paint beach scenes, and use watercolors, and with a little help from my mother we battled through perspective and composition. She was an artist back in her day as well.

There was the occasional opportunity to represent my high school in inter-schools competitions. I never won anything, but I did my best at painting the palm trees and the beaches, with the only paints I could buy. Watercolors.
Jump forward many years, I started experimenting with paper. You have to understand that while more and more people where "coming out of the closet", about their artistic selves, art supplies were not abundant, and when you did find paints etc, they were very expensive. With a lack of paint supply, I began experimenting with paper. I started making paper machier bowls and cups and piggy banks, out of newspapers and with the absence of paint, I used colored and patterned tissue paper as my pallet. They were cheap, cheap. There was nothing more gratifying than scouting our little town for papers. The store people would always give me strange looks because of how enthusiastic I would become while asking for a piece of their packaging paper.
Paper, glue, sticky dirty fingers, were the ultimate happiness for me.

Join me tomorrow for part 2......I promise this all leads to something!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello July

The month of July always excites me...... I guess its because it's summer and summer is my favorite time of the year. It's hot and humid and I am always blessed to be in a country that entertains the summer heat.
There's the pool or the beach; love the beach, and endless glasses of lemonade mixed with fresh mint.

I'll be "arting" this summer, but mostly experimenting with my paints and papers, and really digging in to learn more stuff. Well that's the plan anyway.

What will you be doing this summer?