I am finally taking my art talent seriously!
In the past I would occasionally do a painting or drawing, a few commissioned dog or horse portraits, but I always thought that “someday” or when I retired, I would devote myself entirely to my art. I have been a commercial artist/graphic designer for 33 years and always thought of my fine art as a hobby and something to do when I reached retirement. But with the uncertainty of the economy and the years growing shorter, I decided that it was a good time to finally get serious with it. And with the encouragement and support of my husband, friends and family I am now working very hard in my “spare time” to develop my techniques and get my name out there among other artists.
I think as an artist, we all want to be able to devote ourselves full time to creating art, but we also have to be practical and many of us work full time jobs doing something art related, or not, and have to find time for our art outside of a busy schedule. I know that is the case with me. My full time job involves graphic design and working on a computer all day with the latest art programs, but I am happiest when I can devote time in my tiny home studio with my paints, brushes and pencils and drawing the things I love and have a passion for!
I have recently joined the website sponsored by American Artist Magazine: www.myamericanartist.com - (see listing under my favorite links above). This website is dedicated to helping artists of all skill levels and contains excellent articles, blogs, and interactive forums where you can ask for critiques, discuss and present your art in various media and acquaint yourself with some of the finest artists in the world. I have made numerous friends on that site and have learned a great deal from them! I also subscribe to several of their magazines which have also been very beneficial to me.
In addition, I joined one of our local, well-established art societies - Pinellas Park Art Society - and have come into great company with some of the finest artists in our area! This dedicated group of artists include artists of all skill levels and expertise who are very open to sharing techniques and ideas and they keep me motivated! I was particularly encouraged when I realized that several of the artists there have commercial art backgrounds like me! The Society hosts monthly shows, some themed, which I began entering in March. We meet in a beautiful new facility and at each meeting someone gives a demo such as an art technique or how to present or enter our art in shows, etc. Several workshops/classes are taught there as well, and once a week one of our members has an informal class where we can all work on our current projects together and discuss ideas.
I have only begun recently to show work again - the first time since college - so becoming involved with other artists has been very motivating and encouraging to me. And with all the tools and connections on the internet, it has become much easier to get your name out there as an artist, and not being limited by distance or lack of funding. My only regret is that I did not do this sooner! I hope that my blog and experiences will motivate other “late blooming” artists and give them the encouragement they need to “get out there and do it!”
ON THE EASEL: I am still working on my acrylic painting of a mallard preening, and have several pet portraits to do. I entered a small colored pencil drawing of a sleeping gorilla and a charcoal portrait of my niece’s dog Penny in the July/August show at the PPAS.
UPDATE: “Penny” won third place at the show!