Beginnings

Every Artist Starts Somewhere-Childhood

I thought that I would occasionally share some my early artwork. Really early, for starters, from when I was from around eight to thirteen years old.

When we buy art books or go to shows, we see an artist’s best work and that is as it should be. But no one starts like Athena springing full-grown from Zeus’ head. No matter how “talented” an artist is, there is still a lot to learn, motor skills to develop and a personal path to find.

Most of us probably end up throwing away far more of our creations than we keep.

The takeaway, I hope, is that you should just start where you are and keep going. And if you want to try making art, DO IT! Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks or if you have “talent” or if you’re “good enough”. Take joy in the process. Like I did as a kid.

Here’s a sampling of some “historic” works that didn’t get round-filed.

My first "major" work. Using a Walter T. Foster art book on big cats that I still have, I tried to put together a composition with a number of elements. I always liked to draw animals most of all and was, I think, about 8 years old when I painted this. "Lion Family" approx. 18x24" probably watercolor, but maybe acrylic, on paper

One of PILES of drawings I did as a kid. My dad brought home old business forms and I drew on the blank backs. I had an endless supply of paper, but ended up a little surprised to learn that one could get drawing paper that didn't have printing on one side. "Lion" colored pencil, 8.5x11"

When I was 11, I took my first real art lessons from local Humboldt County artist Dorothy (Dottie) Stocum, through the Redwood Art Association (RAA). This great class for kids was held on Saturday mornings in a big old empty Victorian. The media is acrylic, which was brand new back then (the mid-1960s) and touted as being THE replacement for oils. Well, no. "Still Life" acrylic 18x24"

My "abstract" phase when I was also messing around with using a palette knife. Also an RAA Saturday morning class piece. "Arrows" acrylic 18x24"

Somewhere around age 12 or 13, I learned about sketching from life; these were found object (driftwood and stones) sculptures that I saw when my mom took me to the Ferndale Art Festival. They needed to be drawn. And I loved the titles. No idea who the artist was. Approx. 6x8" blue felt tip pen on paper

2 replies »

  1. Susan, you’ve always been talented! These are really neat to see, thanks.

    I try to look at my writing the same way…just keep writing without regard to whether or not it’ll be a best seller (Wayne Dyer just posted about this in his blog recently, it was a great post). I’d love to have the time to test this concept on drawing too. Thanks for the encouragement.

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  2. As far as writing, many people want to be authors. Not so many want to be writers. The main thing is to keep at it. I’m at over 380 blog posts now and it’s been a great way to do a little writing week in and week out. It gets a little easier and faster over time.

    Artists who are worried about turning out masterpieces aren’t paying attention to their painting. And no one has control over how something will be received or if it will be considered a “success”. All we can do is learn our craft, practice it with honesty and mindfulness and endeavor to always do our best.

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