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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Over at city-o-clay, a yahoo group that I belong to, many of the members are introducing themselves. I thought I'd do the same thing here. There's a lot of people who subscribe to this blog....many more then I ever thought possible! Here's my story:
I'm a miniaturist new to the world of doll houses and to clay. I never knew this hobby existed before 1-1/2 yrs ago. It appeals to my creative urges and the more deeply I delve into it, the more pleasure I get from it.
As a child I was never without a pencil in my hand. Any candid photos of me back then always show me drawing. Neither my mother nor my stepfather had any artistic sides to them; my biological father....who I got my talent from...had died when I was 3. I still have a wooden church that he made as an advent calendar, using scavenged wood. It has little window shutters that can be opened to reveal brightly painted "stained glass" windows.
By the time I reached high school, an educator told me that I didn't have enough talent to make a living from my art. Looking back, I'm not sure if he was being honest or merely suggesting I look elsewhere to my future. In any case I had no encouragement and I have never drawn since.
I had an unhappy childhood and so, like many girls my age, married the first man who came along. Unfortunately I jumped out of the fire and into the frying pan. But for a few years while my kids were small and I didn't go out to work, I enjoyed crafts and making things with & for them.
One year I made a salt dough creche with 3 wise men looking down at the baby. Because we lived in a very tiny house, when Christmas was over, my only storage option was the attic. By the following Christmas, the heat from the attic must have weakened the dough and my wise men were all looking straight up to heaven. At least that's what I told my kids...
Then my husband died and I spent many years, trying to earn enough to survive on. I went back to school; worked two jobs. Artistic inclinations were the furthest thing from my mind.
Ten years ago I met my soul mate...the other half of me. There is an alternate story of the garden of Eden in which it is said Adam & Eve were one entity. When they were expelled from Eden, as their punishment their soul was torn into two and ever since, each of us while on earth looks for their other half to make their soul complete. As I said I've found mine when I met Ken.
And for five years now I've been on "early retirement". I finally have the time and the encouragement to be artistic again. I wish I had been able to go to art school. Who knows what I might have become. But wishes aren't horses...
So here I am. And if this story does nothing else, maybe it'll stop one other child from being told that it's not smart enough or not good enough to do something. We, all of us, need sunshine in our souls.
Thank you for the encouragement in your comments. And thank you of thinking enough of me to follow my ramblings.....


  1. This was a wonderful post- always nice to know more about the person writing the blog. I am a firm believer that a child should never be discouraged. If a child cannot do something they should be allowed to find that out on their own. Encouragement and praise works wonders for everyone- even adults. I find it wonderful that you found your soul mate too ♥

  2. There are things to realize here. One is you don't have to go to art school to be an artist, many great artist have not spent one single day in an art school.

    I did take art in school, our elementary school started it in first grade and I took it on through 8th grade. After that I did not have time in the schedule for art as an elective as I was taking extra math and science courses.

    My line drawing work will never make it into any art gallery, not even a refrigerator door. But the first year after I quit my job as an aircraft mechanic at Boeing and began making miniature buildings I was accepted into the top art gallery in Seattle. No exaggeration it was the top gallery for art located in the area of the city where all the best galleries were and it was not a craft gallery. Can you imagine my shock when we arrived at the gallery for the opening of the show and found I was the featured artist of the December show and was given the front room of the gallery on the street, with the big windows all to myself? I had not done any kind of art work for years on end as I was a single parent. The stuff I was doing in my early twenties before the Boeing days was messing around with fiber and textiles.

    The point I am making is you don't have to have spent time in college art classes, you don't have to have been considered a good artist by a judge in a school, I wasn't. You don't have to be the best at drawing, painting or such. You can educate yourself through books. You can be considered an artist even if you are making dollhouses.

    Stay away from kits, build from scratch. You can copy from real buildings, much of fine art is a copy of what the artist see in front of them.

    Pay careful attention to good proportion, make sure you focus on texture, color and effects from lighting. Tell a story with the work. Lead the eye in and around the object, create a sense of mystery and intrigue. Art is not the subject matter, nature of the object or the media it is how you pull the piece off. It has to engage the viewer.

    If your goal is to be an artist it is still achievable, it does not matter about your background, you don't have to be a painter or illustrator you can be a sculptor. I consider myself to be a multimedia sculptor and my subject matter is architecture.

    Start calling yourself an artist and you will be one. The first person to recognize you as an artist must be the person in your head.

  3. Kim...I agree. Always nice to know the person behind the "pen".
    Karin...great as always!

  4. What a crushing comment from a high school teacher. This person should have known full well how much something like that can affect a young mind.

    I hope you now realize that was the opinion of one high school teacher, who clearly wasn't too bright. Every creator/artist learns and improves over time. Huh, a teacher that doesnt realize people continue to learn *rolls eyes*

    While you may have enjoyed an art school, you likely would end up spending alot of time paying to learn skills you're not terribly intersted in. Heck, maybe you don't care about art history or stone work. Take this early retirement time (well deserved) and focus on your passion, be happy and never let one person's opinion take away your dream.

    My opinion is you are incredibly talented and apparently the other 108 followers here seem to agree :D

  5. Thanks for sharing such a personal side of yourself. Words can certainly encourage or discourage and I'm so glad that we can all hear so many uplifting words from friends in blogland. :)

  6. What an interesting is lovely to get to know people better. I am glad you are very happy now xxx


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