Life On The Edges

Friday, 11 May 2012


Filed under: Landscape — Life On The Edges @ 516

For pretty much my whole life, my creative process has almost always been characterized by introspection and isolation. What inspiration I did draw from other artists was remote, from people who I’d never met and were often long dead. I haven’t had much luck being anything other than self taught, although I did try art school (well, art major at a liberal arts institution) twice, plus a photography course that I dropped in disgust after a few weeks at yet another college. I have been too stubborn, headstrong, and impatient to take instruction, basically.

So I went off to college as an art major at the ripe old age of 17, moved to a dorm that was 14 hours’ drive from home back in the good old days when you had to *pay extra* for long distance phone calls, and commenced my first formal attempt at finding myself as an artist. I chose a sculpture focus, because I’ve always hated drawing and painting, or at least the results I got when I tried it. I don’t recall learning anything much in my classes, but I admit that was probably more me than the classes. I was not investing much.

About 5 years later, I tried it again at a different college, with approximately the same results, only I dropped out faster.

I moved a few times, shedding sculpture paraphernalia each time, and fell into a creative slump. I got a boyfriend, then a fiance, then a husband. I got a job, and education, and a career. I got an apartment, and then another one. I got as domesticated as I probably ever will. And art, once I’d decided I didn’t have the temperament or the risk tolerance to be an artist for a living just kinda… slid into the background.

And then one day about 8 years ago, I got a gift card or something to Best Buy – I don’t remember exactly what, but whatever it was had to be spent at Best Buy or I probably would have spent it elsewhere. I’m not an electronics/gadget freak, so it was the first time I’d shopped at Best Buy, and what I ended up buying was a digital camera. 5 megapixels, point and shoot, nothing fancy. A Canon. I started taking photos, and after a while, I printed some out and matted them, framed them, and hung them on my walls. With some encouragement, I hung them on someone else’s walls a few months later, and had a solo show with 45 photos, which was quite successful from the gallery’s perspective (the manager at that time said they’d never had so many opening night sales before) but a whole lot of work and unwelcome spotlight from my perspective. So I stopped taking photos for a while, about a year.

And then… I got over it, whatever it was, and started taking photos again. I declined to have another show, and instead I started this site. I purposely started it as almost completely anonymously as I possibly could, because I really *didn’t* like the spotlight and fanfare that came with having my solo show, so that was one of the things I wanted to avoid. And I work in a career where I interact with clients who are sometimes really curious about this stranger with whom they entrust their very personal business, and of whom they know very little. And I really like my privacy, and the peace of mind that goes with it. So an anonymous photoblog. Which progessed along just fine for about 5 years, until I started getting stagnant again, and then I slacked off. That seems to be the pattern, go along doing my thing until something dents my muse or til I just get bored, then coast for a while, then start casting about for the next thing.

Now I’ve joined an art league. I took a watercolor workshop from another art league member whose work I admired, and I actually really enjoyed it, as opposed to pretty much every last bit of art instruction I’ve ever received before now. I’ve signed up for two more from the same artist, Rosemary Connelly of Live Cheap & Make Art Studios in Milford. I’ve been actively volunteering at the Art League, and I get a lot of opportunities to interact with other artists and art lovers.

I’ve been pretty lazy about posting here, still, mostly due to technical difficulties – my big laptop died, and then the netbook I replaced it with also died, and I eventually gave up my aircard service, and with it, my unlimited data plan. So now when I want to post, I’m doing it from a dinosaur of a desktop computer, which I bought in 2002, and which most certainly shows its age. But I’ll keep putting up the occasional watercolor here, and one of these days I’ll win the lottery (which I don’t actually play) and upgrade all my electronics to a point where it’s not quite such a chore to post from them.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure where all of this is going. While exposure to professional artists has been interesting, that’s not a path I intend for myself. I did sell another photo to Delaware Today, although I’m not sure which issue it’ll be in. I put some photos into a “Pop Up Art Show” at the Parson Thorne Mansion in Milford last weekend, but that was a one day only show. I did some plein air painting at a Mispillion Art League fundraiser that same weekend, and then Dover Days had its first Plein Air Paint Out and I did that too. Now *that* was an interesting challenge, with the time limit. There’s a reception at the Dover Art League on June 1st for the 14 of us who did that event, but I’m not sure I’ll get around to matting and framing paintings that feel unfinished and that I’m not particularly proud of. I did post scans of them on my Facebook page, which you can find a link to in the right margin of this site. I expect I’ll probably hang something in the next members show at the Mispillion Art League, which is in August, if I recall correctly.

Soooo… that’s what’s new! For more regular updates and painting scans, fan me on Facebook, which I can update from my phone.


  1. For what it’s worth, I think you are awesome. Keep being you.

    Comment by kavips — Friday, 18 May 2012 @ 912

  2. Why thank you! Sorry for the delayed response, but among other things, I’ve had a variety of hardware problems that took out the computer I used to post to this site and its backup. I’m posting semi regularly on Facebook, but not so much here. :/

    Comment by Life On The Edges — Wednesday, 23 May 2012 @ 1347

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