Why I became an artist

March 18, 2016 @ 9:15 am

 

As far as I know I’m the only painter in our family history. I truly think I got here through my handicap as a dyslexic. Growing up in the 50’s in Texas and not being able to read meant I was soon labeled one of the dumb kids. By the 6th grade I was reading on a 2nd grade level and by grade 12th on a 6th grade. I spent my childhood looking a pictures. I remember spending hours just looking at pictures in magazines and from the photo I would extract my own story. As much as I dislike television now (I threw mine away about 3 years ago) it did give me some understanding of the world.

At an early age I began to draw and paint with the encouragement of my mother. By high school I was painting but had no idea or dream of being a painter. ┬áThe turning point was I went to a small college and instantly flunked out. Going home in the 60’s out of college meant Vietnam or work as a laborer.

I had taken one art class in college and the painting instructor said I had some talent and there was a new art school I should apply to. At home and faced with the bleak future that Monday I mailed my portfolio. On Friday I got a telegram saying if I could be there the following Monday morning to start class I would have a full scholarship for 4 years. I went. Suddenly I was around the largest group of odd balls and the weirdos I’d ever met. I was home.

The dean of the school had 5 daughters and 3 of them were dyslexic. He sat me down and for the first time in my life explained to me why reading was such a chore. Today I spend hours reading with a dictionary by my side. I’ve managed to educate myself in a number of different fields of study. Reading isn’t any easier but when I’m learning something new it’s well worth the effort.

Being a painter is the one thing in life that has been my driving force and sense of identity. I’ve painted for the love of it. It seems strange but in the past 4 years I’ve learned more about painting than in all my years. I’ve managed to develop a style that’s kept me engaged and excited about painting. Now all I need to do is find a gallery to show my work.