AN ARTIST?

Updated: Sep 2, 2018


It's been a week of getting back at making art everyday. Overall I'm happy with my progress investing just a few hours a day and trying oil paints a medium I've never tried until now.


It's been about 20 years since I've made art consistently even though I grew up telling myself I was going to be an artist.


For as long as I can remember I was told how talented, creative and artistic I was. I loved drawing, painting and creating as a kid. It was fun and satisfying. I grew up in Ottawa and there is a well known arts high school there called Canterbury. Think of a school like in the movie Fame with not just singing, dancing and music; but with drama, literary arts and visual arts too. You have to audition to get in and space is very limited.


I'll never forget my audition, there were two parts. First you had to choose a number of your completed art pieces, set them out in a kind of "show" and do a walk through with the teachers explaining you ideas and techniques.


Next was the workshop portion a group class at the school. I was so nervous, I remember walking into what felt like a huge room and being told to grab some newsprint and conte, what the hell is that I thought, and get set up on a donkey, again no idea. I followed others lead and figured it out. Got my 14 year old self set up and scoped out the other kids around me wondering what was coming next.


The teacher, Mrs. Spence came in and told us we would be doing a life drawing class. In walks Charles the little old wrinkly man who I guessed to be at least 70 years old. Next he walked up on the platform and...dropped...his...robe!!! There in front of me was the first real life naked man I had ever seen, and if that wasn't enough he had nipple piercing too. My eyes almost popped out of my head, then Mrs. Spence simply says, draw. GULP. After I came out of shock; where do I start?


and It's kind of a BIG DEAL to get in so when I did I was thrilled!


Going to Canterbury High School meant getting up extra early for 2 hours of art classes before all the regular high school classes for the day. Life drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, photography, pottery...you name it we did it. I still loved making art but this was harder, it wasn't just making art for the fun of it, there was always a new project, a new medium to learn and a grade attached with everything it did.


As much as I ;loved making art, when it came time to think about what comes after high school I did a bit or research; I found out that at that time 1996 the average fine artist in Canada was making about $6000 a year. Peanuts. I



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