Saturday, August 29, 2015

My Story As An Artist

My Story As An Artist – Limited Version At Best

I've been invited by Patience Brewster to join her family in celebrating artists during the month of August (Artist Appreciation Month).  She is an artist of beautiful and whimsical work. Perhaps you already own one or more of her uniquely designed Christmas Ornaments.  If not do check the link.  They are stunning!  This interview has been designed for others to learn more about artists who blog.  I invite you to read my short story version of becoming an artist.

As a child, do you recall a significant moment when you felt truly affected or inspired by any particular artwork or artist?
My earliest recollection of art were framed prints depicting the stories of Christ hung on the walls of the church my family attended.  Another work of art that fascinated me as a preschooler was a landscape that hung in my father’s parents’ home above their fireplace.  I still remember vividly the vast panoramic scene of forest, mountains and a river fed by a very high waterfall.  A bright, peaceful light breaks through the trees to rest on a group of rugged pioneer-looking men who were sitting and warming around a campfire.  Years later in art class I would learn that this pattern of beautiful light was an illusion device used by the artist to direct the viewer to the focal point being the events and lives of people gathered around the campfire.  I discovered that more than likely it was a print in the style and subject of the Hudson River School.  The paintings of Albert Bierstadt in the permanent holdings of galleries in Oklahoma City and Tulsa here in Oklahoma lead me to believe that it was a print from his work.  I was very impressed with that work.  It was like reading a very interesting book.  I felt as if I were in the story!  The following image is a painting made by Albert Bierstadt.

As an artist, what do you hope to convey with your work?
I don’t have any noble “ideas” or “causes” that inspire me to do my paintings.  For a few years, especially when I was in college, I felt that maybe I was “missing the mark” with my work.  The only answer I would have had then to this question is that I love it!  Simply that!  I love it!  I love the creation of it, the touch and smells the process brings, the brushstrokes, the love of subject and any sensations that I have during the process!  After maturing a bit and learning to understand art with my own eyes and heart rather than be tied to what books and art critics have to say about it, I’m comfortable with expressing a desire to capture a moment or vignette of my life.   If my work brings a smile, remembrance of an event, experience or pleasure to anyone besides me then I’ve gone beyond “my story to their story” in that particular work. 
“Creating art is much more than developing a product.  The mystery and passion in creating comes from the heart of the designer.  The actions I express with brush and paint on a two-dimensional surface describes, in the form of an image, the process that has been placed in my heart by a Master Designer and Creator.”  (My Artist Statement)

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I’ll never forget the encouragement of my first sale, my first individual show, and now collectors!  My life has been enriched by many who like my work.  I’ve had my work critiqued constructively and received a few not so constructive remarks!  I’m no longer apt to be crushed by any negative remarks.  All artists must be ready for both.  We (artists) are a fragile lot!  Both positive and negative remarks bring opportunities for us to mature in confidence and skill in our craft.

What is your dream project?
I would love for all schools in the USA to be able to have the resources, the teachers and scheduled curriculum of learning about and creating art.  I know from studies I have had in college and statistics that I read that children love art, they need it and it plays a great role in the overall intelligence of children who have had opportunities to be around it and produce it.

What artists, of any medium, do you admire? (Famous or not!)
There are so many that I enjoy!  I love the work of John Singer Sargent of whom I share the same calendar date of birth!  I always thought his portraits were exceptional but when I see them “for real” in exhibits and famed homes I’m speechless.  They are lovely!
Oil is my favorite medium.  I feel very engaged with the creative process with oils; however, I enjoy some of the properties of watercolor too.  

As an additional note, I’m very interested in some of the art journaling I’ve seen online.  I didn’t even know of such a thing for a long time.  My first opinion was “Why?”  I caught myself thinking as a negative critic… BUT,  then I saw a “you-tube” presentation in which a gifted artist was designing, placing, altering, applying vintage images and pictures, cutting, and covering things she had collaged together to very emotional music about a mother…..Oh my….I was moved to tears!!! 
SHE HAD CONVEYED SOMETHING SHE HAD EXPERIENCED TO ME….I HAVE HAD THAT EXPERIENCE TOO!!!  What emotions and love she told in that small booklet!

 Life motivates us to create and express our ideas and emotions for many different reasons and in diversified ways.  Art is the result whether we are professionals, hobbiests, or children artists.     There is no need for grandeur!

Poppy The Pig, Original Oil Painting by Cheri Wollenberg

Poppy Original 8x8 Oil Painting On Canvas by Cheri Wollenberg   Poppy is pig who might be hungry and waiting on his master to bring corn or ...