Monday, June 4, 2012

Illustration Friday~Hurry!

This was one of the pictures I did when I quit smoking, back in 1989. I picked up my markers instead of a cigarette.

I just recently completed my website. There's a line in my bio that kind of sums up the word hurry as it applies to my life: "Deadlines move me forward and give me energy. Being an artist isn’t a job, it’s an extension of who I am." I have this particular memory that comes back to me now and then. I'm in my old bedroom, in the apartment where I grew up. I'm sitting on the floor and there's various papers and art supplies all around me. Vividly I remember thinking that I would like to be an artist when I grow up, and almost in that same thought, I'm thinking about the need to meet deadlines, the rush, the pressure, everything that that goes with that. I then become unsure of myself, and think, no I can't do that as a career. 

As I grew up and went about pursuing different career choices, I never really felt settled. Yet my art was always a constant in my life, whether I was actively making it or it was only a thought. When I was 22 years old, I attempted college for the first time. I started by taking a class in drawing, unfortunately I was also at the height of another career, drinking! I had started drinking in my mid-teens. The two just didn't mix and I gave up on that class pretty much as soon as I had started. Looking back at it now, I know that this was my first attempt at normalcy; using my art as a way to find a path to sobriety. A year later I did quit, thanks to many people who loved me and a great support system. Today I am 29 years without a drink or drug. As the saying goes "But for the grace of God go I".

When I say in my bio that art is an "extension" of who I am, it's not just a line. When I was 29 years old, again in an attempt to give up a bad habit, smoking, I started back into my art. It was hard as hell to quit smoking, worst then quiting drinking and drugs! At that time in my life I was working at a hospital. Wilma Brass was one of the nurses I worked with. She was a kind woman. She knew I liked to "doodle" so she gave me gift; a set of markers and a pad of paper. A funny thing started to happen, every time I had the urge to pick up a cigarette, instead I would pick up my art supplies and go to it. That was the beginning of my quiting. I also chewed a lot of gum! I chewed so much gum it felt like my face would fall off!
These are some of the doodles
I did with the markers that Wilma gave me
When the word hurry came up this week, my first thought was that I really am under the gun. My cousin/representative, has arranged a show for me, and needs 10 pieces and some of my bookmarks by the end of this month. For the most part I pretty much have everything, but I do need to make business cards and produce more bookmarks, plus it would be nice to make a new piece.

So deadlines...sometimes it's a hurry, a mad rush, sometimes it's an easier pace. What I've learned throughout my life is that deadlines really do motivate, and move me forward. That being an artist is something I enjoy, and having the deadline is just as much part of the thrill as creating a piece of art that you love. That it all goes hand and hand.

To all my blogging friends out there--Have a great day, and may the muse be with you!!!

This was one of the first drawings I did when Wilma gave me the paper and pens. My husband thought it looked like it could be in a children's book. A light bulb went off, and I went back to school to pursue a career in art. You never know how one small step can influence your life. Thanks Wilma, and Larry too! ( Larry's my husband) 


  1. Excellent post! I love seeing the early art. Sometimes we only see the finished, polished pieces without seeing the journey to get there.

  2. Oh what a journey it was! You were a big part of it when I started back to school. Your teaching style was a bit softer than what I was getting in class :) Between you and my art teachers I think I got the best of both!

  3. Art can get you through times of no (fill-in-the-blank) better than (fill-in-the-blank) can get you through times of no art!

    I'm so glad you were able to get rid of all the impediments & pick up such a beautiful new addiction!