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!

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