From the Desk of the Hugging Artist…
If you want to have more fun in life, then this is the place for you to learn how to play.
Play is what I’ve majored in for the better part of the past 73 years. You are now playing with an experienced, fun loving artist.
Join me as we walk through the playground of my life.
We start in Chicago where at 4 years old we learn to mix and match colors. We take every piece of clothing out of Mom’s closet. Color is the attraction, selling the clothes to friends is the game.
Art, in any form grades K thru 12, just never happened. Academics yes, art and music no. Imagine a childhood with no art. OK you’re there with me.
Coloring books become a major form of artistic expression at age 10. When a knife is used to scrape the wax and make a smooth patch of color, paintings do begin happening. That’s it for our early years.
At the University of Illinois, life figure drawing is happening in a room on the way to some science lab. Looking in from the outside; there are the models, easels, and artists; and there was the ache and longing in the pit of the stomach. Of course we can’t take those classes, there is no art portfolio. You can’t major in art without a portfolio.
And so the curiosity begins. No more academics. Get married at 19, and find new areas to explore. Much more fun can be had by leaving the familiar, moving to St. Louis, Missouri. You’ll meet new people, have three children and discover paint-by-number. Paintings are really beginning to happen. No drawing is happening, but color mixing is the fun. OK, so we’re still playing with coloring books, just a new wet medium.
Move back to Chicago, and the dream is realized.
3 years of intensive academic training in the European tradition of life figure drawing and painting. Drawings happen daily and that ache is replaced with happiness. At 35 years old, it’s a loft studio in Chicago with 4 other professional artists, and the artist is launched.
My other favorite hangout…The Historic Evanston Art Center and the artist community.
The journey continues.
Move to Los Angeles, CA. Draw weekly at UCLA art studios and life figure workshops. Draw in Venice, CA. art studios with other artists. Then it’s off to Lake Tahoe CA. Open an art school and teach others who believe that they can’t draw or paint. Success is taking place. Sharing what you’ve learned with others who also long to create, is a way of “paying it forward.”
Now it’s off to Seattle WA. We are nearing 50 years of playing and there are new horizons to explore in this city of technology. Our new toys are an Apple computer and a painting program. Added to them is our first Nikon camera. What we have in our toybox, are tools that join the traditional paper, paint and charcoal. Much fun is ahead.
Some income is added during the next 17 years of this adventure, by opening 4 linen stores, and playing with color using sheets, towels, rugs, and more. Of course painting continues.
It’s gather up the tools time of life.
Rid yourself of all material possessions, except for your toybox of paints. Move into a motorhome and spend 5 years journeying around America. It is the time for real discovery.
Painting on a cliff in Oregon is thrilling. Painting in the sunlight of New Mexico (alongside the energy of Georgia O’Keefe) makes this a dream realized. Living the life of a nomad is incredible. Every minute is filled with curiosity, wonder, and joy.
Find new artists to play with, and settle in.
We are now settled in the Palm Springs, CA area. It’s time to live in a conventional home/studio/gallery. The traditional tools combined with ultramodern technology and a significant body of artwork develops. It’s time to share this art with the greater world. COD Street Fair in Palm Desert CA., with thousands of visitors every weekend, is that perfect place.
I’m at year 75 and am working hard and playing hard.
Color is still the attraction and our daily pages are filled with joy. That’s what I call having FUN, the artist’s way and … the play-filled journey continues.
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