School Lessons

Recently I took a weekend  class at the Woodstock School of Art with  artist, Meredith Rosier. I had seen her work at a gallery last summer, and a friend of mine recommended her workshops. It had been a year or more since I had taken a workshop. Though weekend classes take away my time off, they invigorate and energize me in a way that I can't explain. 

My art  background is thin and scattered.  My family discouraged my pursuit of art, and told me I was not good enough.  Because they refused to pay for my tuition if I studied art, I took a year off from high school to work and save for community college where I pursued an Associate in Art .  My training was basic, filling in all that I did not get in High School:  Drawing and Composition,  2 and 3D Design, Anatomy, Painting 1 and II,  lots of Art History, and the other courses that one has to take; math, psychology, science, gym.  I was on the Dean's List most of my college degree, in spite of my father having cancer and witnessing his death. 

My junior college portfolio did not get me into the Fine Art Department of the local State college and the rejection was keenly felt - so keenly - that I decided not to go back to school.  Maybe they were right. I wasn't good enough.

Jobs came and went, I got married, had children, got divorced.  My ex's support was sporadic at best, so I went back to school to get my BS and MS in Art Education. They pay was good, the time off matched my children's schedules.   I took as many fine art courses as the department would allow, though art ed students were looked down upon by the fine art students.  THOSE WHO CAN'T DO- TEACH echoed in the hallways and in my head. 

I never stopped making art, even if it was designing jewelry or working in glass.  I started designing greeting cards using the then new hot medium-collage. Over the years I got good at it. Some of my collage art was shown locally, and then internationally.  But I still wasn't satisfied.  My passion was the paint and I itched to get back to the paint and the palette, but I had no self esteem. 

Aa friend of mine from early college days, Rob Hacunda,  offered to give me some painting lessons.
to become reacquainted with the paint.  Then a few classes with Christie Scheele, and I learned even more.  I showed a few paintings, selling a large one at a gallery in Woodstock. 

Something inside me ignited. Perhaps it is that I don't know how long I have on this earth, the realization of which hit hard when my daughter was diagnosed with cancer. There's no time like NOW echos in my head.

As time passes, I become more and more obsessed with making art even though the little voices of doubt still come to haunt me. So I have decided to go back to "school" to learn all that I missed, only this time I don't care about the degree.

Meredith's class was amazing,working in abstraction and tapping into the subconscious.   I hope to study with her during the week in a group class soon.  I am also studying painting with Chris Gallego.  I have been putting more and more of my free time into making art,  and feel like I am once again a college student, full of the desire to learn.

I don't know where my art is going, but I am avidly working. Ink, chalk, paint.  I am learning the gamut from abstraction to realism, hoping that each will give me  tools to find my voice. 

And every night I pray that I live long enough to fully explore the gifts I have been given. I have a lot more work to do before I am done.

Patti O Art

PS bad photos of the abstract drawings from the class I took.  The log study will be posted when it is just a little more um...refined!

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