Since coming out of the art closet and showing my work over the last couple years, I've had a few people ask me, "What's your background?" I'm pretty sure that question generally means did I go to art school, and if so where, or was I self-taught? It's really not easy to answer ... the short answer is sort of "a little bit of both, and a whole lot of other things." Is that a good enough answer? I'm not sure. I don't want to bore people with information they weren't really seeking. But I can write it here, since as I previously mentioned, no one reads this anyway.
I was an artsy kid. Always drawing, and received recognition from teachers and in art contests enough times to understand I had some talent. In first grade, it was a postage stamp design for the town of Chicken Alaska. In fourth grade, it was my poster for a Thanksgiving fundraising event. Teachers made lovely comments when I illustrated reports and other assignments beyond what was required. In 9th grade, a couple of my pieces were selected to go on to a regional art show, and one received an honorable mention. In 10th grade, one of my pieces was stolen from our HS art show. Stolen. Who the heck would steal a 15-year-old's artwork? Today I wish I still had that drawing, or at least a picture of it. My art teacher compared it to Georgia O'Keefe. I didn't even know who she was at the time. I also wish I still had the 3-d oversized fabric sculpture I made of an ear, complete with macrame earring, which I gave away. At the time I didn't care. By age 15 my interests were starting to go in other directions ...
Any fleeting ideas I had about going to art school flew right out the window when I foolishly decided to get married, way too young.
I've also always been into needle & fibre crafts, which I attribute to genetics. My mother is an accomplished seamstress. (Someday I will tell her story; it deserves its own post. Or several.) I learned how to sew and crochet and embroider before I was 10. Then later, macrame - (hey, it was the 70s!), jewelry making, quilting ... this is how I satisfied my creative urges for many years.
Along the way there were a few college classes, a stint in the Army, and a few more college classes. I was focused on the Graphic Arts curriculum at local community college until I tried my hand at Architectural Drafting. When your drafting teacher tells you that your work is better than his, and then offers to help you find a job, you take notice. By that time I had a baby and a crumbling (abusive) marriage, and a drafting job sounded like a ticket out. So I took it. I worked full time at a civil engineering firm and earned an Associates Degree in Architectural Drafting in my spare time. During that time I also got divorced, moved back in with my parents, fell into a depression, met a new guy, climbed out of depression, bought a house, married said new guy, gained 3 stepdaughters, and tried to figure out what to do next.
to be continued ....