Judi is having a contest that she is sponsering on How Art has influenced my life. So couldn't resist participating. I havn't written an essay since college, but here goes.
Check it out here http://journals.aol.com/judithheartsong/newbeginning/entries/1039
Art has influenced my life, but life has influenced my art. Art has always told a story to me. The first artist I remember was my mother, who drew beautiful women all the time. I loved these drawings she drew for me, and I found myself drawing lovely women myself. My love for beautiful faces was born. As a young boy I escaped life by drawing, most of the images that I created told a story. As a young boy I drew pictures of people looking in mirrors. I wanted to express a concept of what life is like looking into a mirror, which obscures what is really there. It is practically impossible to know someone from a self-portrait, but I've always been fascinated with faces. Mirrors helped me show something else. What the faces were really feeling, or maybe what I was really feeling. Artists seem to be very busy revealing bits of ourselves, from piece to piece that we create. Looking at several of my drawings you'll see not only things and people I love, but also things I find disturbing.
I grew up on a peanut and corn farm in South Georgia, lived almost every waking moment outdoors, playing and working with my family. Plants and animals seemed much more real to me than people. So nature was my first influence in art, nature gave me my start and my basis from which to grow. It also grew with my nightmares, I had some terrible nightmares as a child, and with each nightmare came more drawings.
My love of art grew as I grew, I read and studied everything I could but my influence was from nature and trying to capture the beauty of our fellow earthlings. I think of how very similar to the rest of nature we are. What purpose could my drawings possibly serve, if not some spiritual service? Art is the illumination of life in collaboration with the creative Spirit. What a blessing it is to experience the Blue Planet, to walk or swim or climb along and see so much life here! I pray that we'll always be able to enjoy these moments of shared existence.
When I was a teenager, one of my teachers noticed my love for art, and took me to the city, Atlanta, Georgia to visit museums, and art galleries. Places I'd never seen before. I loved it, and couldn't get enough. I loved writing also, and something about drawing and capturing images was almost like writing, drawing telling a story without the words, but expressing those images that are mental and spiritual. I found something that made me diffrent from others. Symbolism of my own childhood and life are usually in my art.
The practices of artist is informed by the theories on arts that we as artists may have. We can take our personal theories and apply them to our art. I was self taught and I don't know if I follow any real genre in art. We create our own totem so to speak. Theories are an integral part of an artists decision making or practice, that goes with each and every artwork that an artist produces.