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day 8

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Day 8
Size: 22 x 30 inches

Oil on 100% cotton paper


Day 8/50 “Turn Back Time Tuesday”


A brief recap of my relationship with art and what led to where we are today:

• My first grade teacher told me recently that she remembers me drawing a picture of a woman in a red dress and telling an elaborate made up story of who she was and what she was doing. Hmmmm. Sounds about right.

• Found a safe space in the art classes of middle and high school. I was a terrible student in middle school but loved the sense of exploration and experimentation with Mrs. Lee in High School. This was where I also learned to listen to Prince.

• Got accepted to a two-week intensive summer art program for rising senior high school students at LaGrange College in LaGrange Georgia. They let us try every imaginable form of visual arts, and this was where I discovered a love of graphic design. My t-shirt design won the competition and was used on the official t-shirt. I still have it. Oh, and pretending to be a “grown up college student” and staying in a dorm meant finding someone to buy beer for us on a hot summer night before we filled and sat around in a kiddie pool in someone’s dorm room.

• Went to the amazing University of Montevallo where I was surrounded by some of the most talented students and professors in the state. My BFA concentration was in graphic design, and I took it very seriously while watching others explore their creativity in absolutely everything they did. They showed me how true artists live with creativity, making original art out of everything they touched. I took drawing and painting classes in addition to my design courses but always felt like a fraud around their originality & uninhibited lives. 

• Graduated college in 1993 and got a job working at a small design firm as an art director. Brochures, corporate identity, etc. I loved it & learned a ton in the two years I was there.

• Got burned out and wanted to do my own thing. Quit that job thinking I would teach myself how to paint portraits & become a famous portrait artist.

• Took graphic design freelance jobs while pursuing the portraits, but less than a year later decided I loved design much more than painting. Painted my last portrait of my grandfather in 1996, put the brushes away, and was truly perfectly content to never paint again.

• Freelance led to building a small graphic design shop specializing in corporate identity and printed collateral. We had amazing clients and got to do some nice work. 

• Continued the design work and co-founded a business of custom stationery, invitations, and announcements. We did well and had an amazing team of employees who made it all happen. It was a magical time.

• Closed that business and cut ties with my graphic design clients in 2012, moved to Austin, and stepped away from creative endeavors. I needed a break.

• Picked up my paint brushes for the first time since my grandfather’s portrait and for a few weeks toyed with the idea of painting again in 2013. Nope. It wasn’t time. Didn’t like it.

• In 2017, a conversation with a dear friend sparked an interest to try again. It felt right this time, so I committed to diving in deep and having an exhibit later that year. That show at the Lewis Carnegie Gallery confirmed my renewed love for telling stories with paint. Three shows and a book we are. What’s next??

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