I am an artist, born that way. Every day after school growing up I sat in our family room, where a Formica counter-top built into the wall had a wide desk area, and I’d draw, from my imagination, with colored pencils, pen and ink and watercolor, and often mixed them. and by the time I was 8 I had stacks of sketchbooks. I have to admit that by 10 I became fascinated with fashion, and dreamed and drew up my fantasies about what people wear. In high school I was serious about art and music, started drawing from life as well as exploring imagination, and was sewing Nehru jackets, bell-bottoms trousers and Peter Pan-sleeved shirts lined with purple, bright green, magenta, golden yellow satin, for a rock band, Moving their arms, the color would flash.
I won a prize, in high school, from our town for a pen and ink w/watercolor painting I did of a tree in the park, during an all-day “art festival” in public where we students of art spent the day working outside while tourists and by-standers poked about. At 16 I was hired to make pen & ink drawings of gift-related products for a local candle company’s catalog. My first experience with commercial art. And I thought of it as a sideline.
Contrary to the advice given in art school, and pretty obviously by then, I never settled on one specialty*, to develop as my signature language, to be able to facilitate a career with painting, or drawing, or sculpture, or any one thing. No, I had to unfold ambitions over time without a rock. Because of a practical side in my nature and a romance gone terribly wrong, I went to work upon graduation, dong every and any art job I could find. I drew designs to be stamped into metal jewelry. I did photography, framed and sold and won a prize for it in an art exhibit. I photographed models wearing outfits for newspaper ads, and then turned the photos into fine point pen and ink before delivering them to be printed. I illustrated a children’s instruction manual on careers in Science, an edu program created to teach career awareness at a younger age in our public elementary schools. I hand-painted lamp-bases to match fabrics for an interior designer. I hand-painted seashell jewelry, and denim skirts for a gift shop. I designed greeting cards for publishers, I did graphic design for a printing company, I designed clothing for ceramic figure dolls. Patterns for paper goods and fabrics. Packaging design.
Rattan furniture blueprints for manufacturing. Clock-faces, vases, lamp-bases for manufacture. Fine jewelry blueprint design.
I went on, when my largest-volume freelance design job offered me a position as creative director in the art dept of their out-of-state factory making screen-printed textiles, I moved to Mystic, CT and did that job for 10 years, moved back and did another similar job for a local designer, and became involved with art licensing. I did that for just three years before deciding to leave the corporate art field and get back to my work, informed as it became as a result of the experience.
I designed patterns, motifs, borders, etc. for companies in home furnishings, textiles, ceramics, giftware, etc. Photography was an important tool. Then it became an expression of art. I’d avoided it in art school, I had only one picture of Him. And it was blurry. But I knew how to handle any camera.
And I learned how to process and print in the darkroom. My enlarger is now an antique.
*at the time I had edu in several areas, including painting/drawing, sound, performance, film, and video, I did a video for Pat Hearn when we were at the Museum School in the 70’s. It was a music video for a fantasy band called “The Roommates” she and her roommate playing and singing topless. very avante-garde. I did another video for Gail Thacker, at her apartment, dyng someone’s hair black. I was videographer at a martial arts school. I introduced my friend and roommate Laetitia de Compiegne (Sonami) to the Museum School electronic music laboratory. I made slide shows accompanied by electronic music. Influenced by art history, color theory and practice, a lot of drawing, animation, film-making, and electronic music. Several odd short projects like biodegradle sculptures, japanese brush-painting, wooden painting cubes, a few semesters of print methods, etching, lithograph and silk-screen printing.