I have now been to two Still Life Classes and one figure in graphite class here in town at the CCA. I don't know how I went so long without doing this...maybe a little background is in order.
My history with art goes back to age 2 when I, having gotten hold of a box of crayons, managed to draw a squiggly mural all over a white wall in my parent's first house, the entire length of the wall and as high as I could jump. It also (probably rightly so) garnered me my first spanking. I was forced to find smaller mediums to channel my creativity. **smile**
I began taking art classes, privately at the age of seven or eight. First grade I think. I did local art day camps in the summers and private study in the fall and winter (apart from bi-weekly art classes in school). I can still remember learning how to draw glass, candlesticks, light from a candle. Seeing reflections. I owe her my ability to compose still-life's and my eye, basketweaving, and pinch pots, gingerbread houses and putting Parmesan on my popcorn.
By age twelve I was in group classes with a local woman who had a large backyard and horses next door. There, I learned color study, aesthetics, oil painting and pen and ink. And continued there for three years, during the school year. until my family moved away from Iowa to Wyoming.
I was also studying weekly with local art teacher and the mother of a friend of mine in the class ahead of me. I wanted to be an Artist. I always wanted to be an artist. I even spent 6 weeks of my summer at the NCSA (North Carolina School of the Arts).
It wasn't until I was in college in Arizona that I realized I was detesting my studio classes but falling fast for Art History. When I transfered to Colorado, it would end with a Humanities major with emphases in Literature and Art History/Fine Arts. I think that part of the stall of my affair with studio was due tot he fact that Arizona wouldn't let me portfolio out of the Foundation classes. I had done drawing and color theory since I was nine. But they were of "we all start down here" mentality... which (to be honest) looking back at it, was fine. And probably needed, you can always need more practice drawing. I was just an arrogant little poop and thought I was above it. My art profs were either jerks or confused at what I could actually accomplish in texture and color with just a box of prismacolor colored pencils.
Anyway, long story short. I stopped drawing, period. I started focusing on photography in college. Which was fine, but I lost my hand-eye coordination...
This past October I took a fundamentals drawing class and despite my fear and my anxiety (what if I'd lost it and could never get it back? what if I was never ever meant to be an artist...etc. etc.), when I stood in front of the easel, despite my mind's loop-de-loops, my hand and body and heart knew how to proceed. I wasn't as polished as I'd been at 15 or 16 years old when I went to NCSA... but somehow, the body remembered all the training it had gotten beginning almost twenty years ago, and abandoned nigh-on completely seven years ago... don't be timid, just start putting something down. Focus the eye, soften the gaze. Squint if you have to. And time disappeared for 6 weeks, and I fell in love with this feeling again. It was magical. And so very needed when I was just barely treading water in my MA, grades were fine, but my Soul just wasn't in it. And it's been two weeks and I don't miss being in school like I was a month ago. At all.
Who knows where this will go, but I can promise myself that I will never let myself put art aside again. It is like life-blood. It is somatic and moving. Don't get me wrong, I still worry that I won't be good enough (I am highly competitive and a notorious perfectionist. But, I am beginning again and returning to an old love. It's subtle and thrilling. More later, of course...