Self-taught

2 Jul

When the bug got me -the ART bug, I mean- I began to draw faces and practice different shapes for noses and lips and eyes… I got lots of good advice from people who have become great friends and mentors. But that was only later on, after I followed my hubbies advice. I was restless, feeling like I had missed out on so much learning by not having studied art formally at a college or university. My background is in literature, and although it does not seem that way, it does help out in the inspiration department. But it serves me for nothing in terms of giving me guidelines and helping me to develope skills.

With my restlessness my husband got curious and asked me one day why did I seem so unhappy. I had seemed happy enough when I started drawing and painting, “you know we do not have enough money for supplies”, he said, but he promised me he’d buy them for me as soon as the semester started again and he got paid. “That’s not it”, I said. I explained why I was unhappy with myself and then my dear and loving husband told me something that has served me well since then and that I pass on to you guys now:

Universities and professors work for you as guides and givers of deadlines. You can do that yourself, you just need to have the discipline to do it, just as if you were going to school and meeting with professors. Google whatever interests you, be it painting as a subject, a favorite artist, a sculptor, a mixed-media artist. If you have a Facebook page, try connecting with like-minded people who would be willing to share what they know. Not everybody will be a teacher, not all of them will be good teachers, but that is all up to you.

I started looking for information on polymer clay on Youtube. That gave me a first list of videos to look at. When I saw the amount of stuff there was to look at and learn from, it was like an epiphany! I belonged to a polymer clay group in Yahoo Groups, all their discussions were of great help to me. But I had already started to draw and wanted to learn how to apply shadows to the face to make them more realistic. I stumbled upon a video of a woman painting a face, a simple enough girlie face with big eyes that looked very similar to the posters that used to decorate my sister’s teen-aged bedroom in the early seventies. The woman painting the face was Tamara Laporte; Tammy, for short. Most people in the internet world know her as Willowing. She was speaking with a brit accent and spoke softly and candidly to us about how to apply this or that, what water-soluble pastels she was using, well, it was like having a friend tell you a story. It was wonderful! I started looking for more of her videos stumbling into other stuff on the way cause I still had no idea how to navigate my way through Youtube. I then found her channel, and after that I found her place in Ning (something else that was completely alien to me) lololol.

I went to find Ning. There I joined Willowing’s group, and in that group I met many nice people who were sharing their experiences and sharing their experiments. They were all, or at least most of them diving into this marvelous world for the first time. It was in Tamara’s group that I met Deborah Company. She had created her own Ning group some months before and sent me an invite to check it out. I did, and the rest, as they say, is history. I joined the group she had created: Mixed Media Workshops. There I met another bunch of great people who accepted me and basically took care of me -as a friend and fellow artist- giving me all the support end expertise I needed to keep going, developing and learning. Later that same year I was invited to become an Administrator. I accepted and spent more than a year working with Deb and the rest of the gang, helping out in everything I could. I took a “leave of absence” for some time because I could not offer the group the time I wanted to give. But I soon will be back to where it all began. I hope that if you are a beginner you’ll look for yourself in all those sources that are aveilable today. If you want to follow a career in art and are able to do it putting yourself through college, that’s great! But if, for any reason you can’t. Don’t worry. You don’t have to.

Frida con mico.

Edna

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