All the painting I've been doing lately has brought back a slew of memories. A journey so long ago that has lead me to where I am today.
My parents weren't jazzed about me going to art school. An art school how could that get me anywhere in life? Senior year I was introduced to a new high school and an amazing art teacher - Jill Crowe. She nurtured me and my talent and prepped me to win a two-year art scholarship. At that point my parents realized there was no turning back. If it were up to my father I'm sure I would have been an architect or an accountant somewhere in middle America. Secretly I think my mother wishes I would have followed in her footsteps and become a real estate agent.
CCAD was an entirely different experience than I anticipated and challenged me in many ways, but losing my father in the middle of it all was heart-breaking and sent me on a completely different path. I didn't see it's value at that time, and I was a little lost. I opted for the corporate world thinking it would have more to offer. So off I went for 15 years of hard work, moving myself back and forth, from coast to coast, working for small and mid-sized high-tech corporations. I became very involved with my work as a database marketer. I loved it! I loved being around technology, I loved being on the verge of new beginnings. I absolutely loved the technical and creative aspects of my day-to-day job. But then I burned out. I hit the wall.
Interestingly enough, five years before I hit that wall I voiced a goal out loud - to a financial planner of all people. In 1999 I stated that I would start a business in five years. I knew it would be a creative business, but at that time I had no idea what type of creative business. I thought millinery because I had developed this love for making hats, or perhaps it would be a home decor retail shop. Five years later I started my decorative painting business. I guess I have the corporate world to thank for burning me out and forcing me to take this business risk.
Here I am five years later and feeling I've come full circle. In so many ways like that freshman at CCAD once again, full of uncertainty and fear. This time I have knowledge and skills, but I'm afraid of the paint. Well, I was afraid of the paint until my class with William Cochran. William spent a lot of time nurturing us as artists. He reminded me to face my fear only by saying "It's just paint".
All this reminiscing of CCAD I started thinking about all of the professors that made the most impact on me - the ones that really took me as an artist to another level. Unfortunately in my research to find where they are today I discovered that Ron Augutis passed away. It was a very sad discovery, and he left us at a young age. I stumbled upon a blog of a former student of his who had posted this quote which I found quite apropos to my recent artistic endeavors.
"In order to make a painting you've got to use paint"...
Mr. Augutis, thank you and may you rest in peace.