What to paint or make

Seems to me just about all artists have a story.  To me the ones with the biggest stories are the ones I wonder about.

My story isn't much.  I've been interested in and done art all my life, and I will admit to you that I grew up in the 1950s so I've seen a lot.  As a young girl I had the good luck to have private art lessons and also was mentored by several art teachers who fostered my talent.  When I went to college it was during the Vietnam conflict, and the art scene at that time was both rebellious and confusing to me, as I had already come to love the impressionists and post impressionists. 

I took a number of fine art courses which added to my knowledge of technique,  but am so glad I have moved on and basically forgotten a lot of the stuff that went on at the time, like a bloody uphostered goatskin sofa brought into the U. of Colorado art department.  I majored in classics instead and have never regretted learning to read ancient Greek in the original.

Meanwhile, and here is my story, I've always loved to experiment and mess around, so naturally I have tried to emulate my favorite painters as well as copy their styles.  I also read a lot of texts: some by Joseph Albers, Itten, Paul Klee, whose notebooks on drawing and composition have always stayed with me.  The writings and works of Kandinsky, Malevich and the suprematist constructions were another period in my work as I did a number of wood sculptures which I colored with encaustic.  I also did a lot of mosaic/paintings before moving my downtown rented studio to our home where I won't cut glass anymore.

My favorite painters have been Cezanne, Van Gogh, Degas, and the beautiful and unique paintings of Bonnard.  I also love Andrew Wyeth's very American depictions and of course Renaissance and Flemish art.  Emily Carr's imagination and the still lifes of Margaret Olley have struck my imagination. Frida Kahlo and Magritte have intrigued me, and Edward Hopper's mysterious pieces have been a constant companion on my journey.

So, in those many years of messing around I've tried to learn from and emulate these and other artists.  I must also mention Lucian Freud, whose work does not appeal to my somewhat puritan tastes and whose life and treatment of women is appalling, but as a painter he has achieved some amazing results and I've learned a lot about technique from him, how to make a chair alive, for instance.

I have now settled in to doing less experimenting and am just painting, mostly still life, as the rigors of color, composition and what Joseph Albers says somewhere that making art is somehow constructing a game and following the rules throughout.  

There is nothing else to say about my "story."  It's not political, nor any sort of "ism", it's just what I struggle with to pull a picture together and make it interesting.  

For me I've tried abstract but the representational in some form or other has had the most meaning and brought me closer to what some term the spiritual in art, so I've settled in to doing mostly still life, landscape and some figural works these days.

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my "credentials" 

A few years ago in 2009 I felt I needed to get outside validation for my life's work in various artistic media,  so entered some juried shows and competitions.  I am glad I did as it makes me feel that my work was appreciated by others.  However, my motivation is to realize my life through art, not to make art as a profession or source of profit.  I personally believe that to make art your source of livelihood is an extreme obstacle to true creativity. These are some of the shows I've gotten into:

2009  Associated Arts of Ocean Shores (Washington State)

2009  Expressions West, Coos Art Museum

2009  Americas West --HONORABLE MENTION

2010  Associated Arts of Ocean Shores -- 3RD PLACE 

2010  Expressions West, Coos Art Museum  -- HONORABLE MENTION

2010  Women's Works, Woodstock Illinois -- BEST OF SHOW

2010  Portland Open Studios - studio exhibit

2010  Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon

2010  Cooperstown NY International Show

2011  Expressions West, Coos Art Museum -- HONORABLE MENTION

2011  Associated Arts of Ocean Shores

2011  Sequim Arts, Washington 

2011  Emerald Spring Exhibition national show, Oregon

2011  Sources, juried show, Cohasset, Massachusetts

2011  Real People, Woodstock, Illinois

2011  Western Oregon Regional, Coos Art Museum, Oregon

2011  49th Founders Juried  Exhibition, Naples Florida --    HONORABLE MENTION

2012  Expressions West, Coos Art Museum  -- FIRST PRIZE

2012  Portland Open Studios

2012 Salmagundi Club, NY

2013  Ancestors, Guardians and Guides, Washington, DC

2014 EAFA 38th Annual Juried Exhibition, Seattle, Wa.

2015 Expressions West, MERIT AWARD

2015 REAL PEOPLE, Woodstock, Illinois

2016 Beaverton Arts Mix

2016, 2017 Expressions West 

2017 Women's Works Woodstock Illinois

2018 Gallery 114 Juried show Portland Or

2018 Women's Works Woodstock Illinois dg

I am not applying to more shows as I feel that doing so makes me constrain what I do.

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