My Artistic Awakening

In response to: Black Girl in Austin

Like C, my family, specifically my father, introduced me to drawing. He gave me drawing lessons before I even knew what a “lesson” was. I think he eventually gave up, because I couldn’t draw well enough. As a child probably less than five years old, I don’t really fault myself. I have  a warm memory of drawing houses (very flat, with no perspective) over and over by our fireside and bringing them, colored with crayon, to my father to show him. His discontinuation of my drawing lessons is the type of relationship my father and I have.

Yet, that was not my artistic awakening. Perhaps it was in sixth grade when my English teacher, Mr. Uland, raved about my short stories. Filled with isolation and loneliness, my tween years were just aching with words.

But no, was it late seventh grade when I broke past some technical barrier and stopped drawing rainbows and rabbits and instead penciled large portraits copied from magazine ads? When I learned from the grid, then stopped using the grid? But then why couldn’t I break past copying in high school to creativity?

Was it in graduate school (what a long time academics took me away!) when I rediscovered the written word?

Is it the mixed media project lurking in the back of my head, the series I want to continue and that will never leave my closet?

Looking back at my life, there is art shows up erratically at best. But it is there and it will continue to be there.

When was yours?

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One thought on “My Artistic Awakening

  1. My mom is an artist so I grew up somewhat taking for granted the arts she made so accessible to me. It wasn’t until college that I had my artistic awakening when I painted an image of water using oil paints for the first time. Layering strokes of paint was fluid both physically and mentally. Very meditative. I experienced Csikszentmihalyi’s “flow” and have been seeking to recreate the feeling in my studio ever since.

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