A Personal History

(Or, how on earth did I end up an Art Education major?)

I have always enjoyed making things; when I was a little kid and my parents would take me to the lake to hang out and fish, I would find a little patch of mud and clay and make wee modeled birds with it. I I was homeschooled my my mother my entire life, but for one semester in 5th grade, so I never experienced a “standard” art classroom until college Instead, I played around with every kind of art supply I could get my hands on, took some classes with a family friend, and learned from my mom. My earliest art memory is painting watercolor “creek critters” sometime in elementary school, after a trip to Sabino Canyon stream to splash around and get microscope samples; they were basically circles with a bunch of lines sticking out to represent legs, but I had fun making them for weeks and weeks; my mom still has one displayed on her bookshelf at home. She’s something of an artist herself, and would paint or scratch onto eggs, and a couple of times went to display them with her friend at state-wide shows. From her I got a propensity to be a master of all things crafty, and she always encouraged my artistic exploits, especially when in Jr. high (or thereabouts) I started participating in 4-H projects. At one point I was involved in sewing, quilting, leathercraft, scrapbooking, arts & crafts, photography, poultry, pigeon, rabbit, and cavy projects, as well as being club president and creating miniatures on my own. My father would (half) jokingly call it my “4-H career.”

When I was 15 I started attending community college as an enrollee in Latin and 2-D design. Both went well, and I just kept taking art classes because they were cool. I eventually ended up having an Associate of Arts degree, and at 18 moved from Tucson to Flagstaff to pursue a degree that could use all the art credits I had accumulated. The only viable options were fine arts or art education, and I could far more readily see myself as a teacher than as a full-time artist, so I went with the latter. (My first choice would be liberal arts at a small, old-fashioned college of high repute, second English, and third history, but my tendency in that direction is just too vague to waste all those art credits, and I like this almost as well).

I suppose I will be an art teacher, at least for a while. Then… who knows. Get married, raise a family, get a masters of theological studies, teach English in Russia, paint icons, found an Orthodox commune in Iceland… well, probably not the last, though it’d be cool. Any of the above, or something else — it’s pretty hard to know at this point, but I’m pretty excited about whatever it is!

Of late I have been in a bit of an artistic and scholarly slump. I have the skills to do a lot of things fairly well, but don’t have much momentum in any particular direction. For instance, I’ve sold art quilts (self portrait: far top, National Solar Observatory logo: right), ceramics (Art Can be Consuming), and had computer photo-manipulation images published as book covers (left), but only when I just happen to stumble upon an opportunity. As my father (and Kierkergaard) says, “everything is possibility, nothing is necessity.” So nothing very interesting happens. Well, lots happens, but it’s not related to Art. I dunno quite what to do… just keep plodding for now, I suppose.

About an Artist

Philosophy of Education

Artist’s Statement: haha; no. See above if you want to know why.


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