Since beginning this artist blog, I’m feeling some pressure to write “Artist Statement”.   Artist Statements always freak me out a bit.  I have to be honest; when I read other Artists Statements I usually come away puzzled and sort of weary; Aesthetic values? En plein air? Metaphor of the Middle Class?  It’s like I’m back in college in an Art History lecture that I didn’t fully understand.  I didn’t major in art in college:  Criminal Justice, in fact.  With a minor in Deviance.  So maybe that explains it? 

I tried to write my own Artist Statement, and it came across as pompous –at best.  And re-reading it confused even me. 

Then I thought I’d just give the facts: I wrote about my art training, clear, straight to the point and in order.  And what a snoozer. It couldn’t have been more boring. 

So now I think that, instead, I’ll just tell my story in a simple “me” way and tell why I became an artist. So here goes:

Like most kids, when I was little I adored coloring, drawing and painting, Playdoh, glue, sparkles and scissors. Unfortunately kids’ art supplies weren’t inexpensive back then like they are today.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but we were pretty poor. I remember vividly coveting the 56 pack of crayons with the built-in sharpener belonging to another kid in my first grade class, having only an 8-pack for myself.

 My parents liked art. Dad was a good artist– and they did try to give my four siblings and me art stuff when they could.  Christmas-time came with new paint-by-numbers, coloring books, and play dough for everyone.  I love the texture of the then-real oil paints in the paint-by numbers, the feel of my little skinny fingers poking around in the Playdoh, and the smoothly satisfying rub of a new crayon on paper. 

 But the smells!  The oil paints were rich and heavenly!  Probably inhaling them weren’t  good for my then-developing brain– and may explain my later diagnosis with MS, but even today the smell of oil paints transports me back to happy days coloring in little numbered spaces with my brothers and sister at our Formica kitchen table.

 Crayons and Playdoh had their own wonderful, uniquely childlike smells. I’ve never met an adult who didn’t at one time try to eat either a crayon or secretly munch a ball of Playdoh.   Luckily they didn’t taste as good as they smelled.  Though I did hear about a neighbor kid whose mother reported that his poop was regularly bright blue.  

It was never long, though, before the paints were gone, the crayons broken, the play dough dried into hard lumps. I drew this first picture imagining what it would be like to have had unlimited art supplies as a kid.

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