Thursday, January 20, 2011

Early Influences

1954. Exploring my world.
Me and my father, 1954. (I've always been drawn to tall dark and handsome men... )
Me and my brother Steven with my Gramma and Grampa Howie. My Gram is most likely singing one of her ditties to me...."Martha Mariah, spit in the fire! The fire was too hot, so she spit on the pot! The pot was too round, so she spit on the ground! The ground was too flat so she spit on the cat, and the cat ran away with the spit on its back!" (Hmmmm, the root of my penchant for dark humor?)
Me on the left in the lap of my cousin Lorna, in the living room filled with siblings and cousins, 1955. A big family that is far bigger and wider today. Always surrounded by faces, faces, faces. My favorite subject.
Me with my older three siblings, transfixed by a cartoon on the TV, most likely. The wild mix of bold colors and patterns that was my home, has deeply influenced my art. What I'd give for that log cabin quilt now!!!
Me and my younger sister Susan, my partner in art making, down in the basement, wearing dresses sewn by our Mom. So much went on in that basement - with our big extended family, it was the only place we could all fit for holiday dinners. At all other times, that table was used for sewing and arts and crafts projects. We spent alot of time downstairs. We never thought to call it a studio, but that is what it was.
My first art exhibit, 1962. My parents recognized that I was artistic at a young age so they enrolled me in RISD's Saturday morning art classes when I was in 2nd grade, and I attended those classes until the 8th grade. Here I am showing off one of my paintings to my Mom and my big sister Debby, and my grandmother (on my mother's side) and my grandfather (on my father's side). I remember this painting: it is an underground scene (like our basement? :^) - tree roots and cavernous areas full of activity - bugs, worms, all kinds of goings on, painted with poster paints. For this class we were given muffin tins with just the primary colors, and a fat brush. We learned to mix our own colors, and we worked on the floor, on big pieces of paper, with only that one fat paint brush. I loved it.
And of course the man behind the camera, my father, lovingly documenting family and friends' faces. A bigger influence than I can say...

1 comment:

Brad Gailey said...

Hooray!, for poster paint.