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I consider myself a fantasy artist but the truth is I just love to paint. I love to share my daydreams with people and art has enabled that. I love to get lost in someone else's imagination. I read a lot, enjoy creative and engaging movies, and have played many many video games. I hope to be able to give back a little by sharing my art with the world in return. Expect many more fantasy art pieces from me in the future, I'm here to stay.
I'm an almost 36 y/o fine artist but wait.. that's not all! I'm also a mother of 2 wonderful sons (8&10) who drive me crazy but also make me laugh more often then not. I'm married to a great guy who happens to be my best friend, or my worst enemy. (depends on the day, and possibly the time of the month) I'm 6'1. I would guess people don't generally give their height here but believe me it's something people notice about me. I got lucky and fell in love with a man who is 6'4 and my family ranges from 5'11-6'5 so I'm super tall for a woman but I have embraced it. I kinda wish I could find longer jeans easier but I can always reach the stuff on the tp shelf so it balances out. I'm very friendly, sarcastic, quick to laugh and creative. I'm also stubborn, have a small irish temper (see sarcastic comment a few words back), and worry too much.
I have always drawn. My mother is a pastel artist who does beautiful portraits. She constantly encouraged my artistic skills and I know had it not been for her I would be satisfied with stick figures still. She set a high bar with her own skill but never pressured me to do anything but draw for the love of it. I truly believe that sitting on her bed while she asked me to look at her current art project and critique it helped me have a much better sense of everything from lighting to proportion. My high school Art teacher, Mr. Wayne Lyles, was a wonderful man who had a long braided grey/black pony tail and wore blue jeans with a blue jean shirt everyday to school. Mr. Lyles took my already encouraged love of art and told me to get off my ass and do something with it. I look back at my art work from high school and wonder how he saw a talent worth so much effort on his part. Seriously... the first self portrait I did of myself scares me still. He also pushed me to paint. Until then I had really only focused on drawing. Painting is my medium. I thought it would be pencil or pastels like my mother but painting just felt right and slowly but surely the goopy colors did what I wanted them to do. I had 3 periods of Art and had lunch in the art department every day of my senior year. Sadly Mr. Lyles passed away several years ago but at least I did get off my ass and do something with my talent finally.
I did attend the Art Institute of Atlanta for Visual Communications (Graphic Design) but I did not finish my degree because at 20 sometimes our brains are .. special. Needless to say I meant to go back and finish but never did. I have to say that life drawing was a life changing class for me. I had always stayed somewhat away from painting people on a serious level. I think I was somewhat intimidated by how great my mother was at doing portraits. I thought I wanted to do landscapes and buildings. Life drawing popped that bubble like an elephant snorting dish soap in a herd of giant porcupines. Oh the sessions with a real person as a model and the endless sheets of newsprint covered in charcoal! Assignments where I have to draw my hands? my FEET? I'm 6'1... I have a foot literally for each leg. I loved it! I sucked at it! I didn't care! Ok, so I did get better as the class went on but geez some of the drawing from back then are hilarious. Mr. Lyles let us pick our our projects which was great but it wasn't until I HAD to draw people and body parts and stand in front of all the other good little artist and be judged that I realized that I kinda needed that, really badly.
Now comes the intermission. I fell in love, had kids, and pulled on my mommy cape to save the day, every day. Who has time to be yourself when everyone else needs you to be theirs? Mad props to you moms who have that superpower, my hat is off to you. I wouldn't change it because I love being a mom and those years were priceless. I would love to change my age back to 10 years ago but I'm afriad that's not the prize you get for making 10,000 dinners, doing more laundry then there are clothes in the world (no really! I promise!), and making sure everyone doesn't kill each other on a daily basis. It did get easier as my boys got older. About 7 years ago I sat down and painted my first real fantasy art person. (real fantasy... yeah I did that.) The Sleeping Angel. I can not express how proud of myself I was when I finished her. A person... I had painted a person and everyone, even small children, could indeed tell it was a person! They could even tell it was a woman, and an angel! I had the fever! If you are an artist you know what I'm talking about. A piece turns out better then you expected and you are floating on air for the next few days. I did a few other fantasy art pieces over the next few years but really I stumbled in to doing portraits mainly for a good while. Remember, I had painted a person who looked like a person. Once people realize this they then decide you need to paint a person who looks like a person they know or love. I would recommend portraits to anyone who wants to paint anything. Painting something to match the minute details of a person's face for a loved one is great, hair pulling, squinting, and insanely satisfying practice for anything else you will ever paint.
Earlier this year I decided it was time to not just paint because I love to paint but to try and make a career out of it. I have much more time with my boys being less dependent on me and I just really really want to do this. I don't have to become a millionaire doing this ,wouldn't complain too loudly about it though, but I would love to make enough to feel like I have a career. I have spent more time painting over the last year then I have ever and it seems to be ramping up rather then running out. I'm curious and excited to see where I will be in a few years, not only in skill but also in building my own business. Here's to making dreams come true? I say yes.