A Turning Point
beginnings in oil (2012)
Flash forward many years…
I dropped out of high school my senior year. I hated the school, and I only half liked myself. I did pick up a continuing education program at the local community college the same year, with the hopes of graduating on time or a little early. Once graduated I was offered an opportunity at a full ride scholarship for an Associate of Arts degree . By this time I was living off base with my high school sweetheart, whom I married. One child, one divorce and five jobs later I finally earned the degree.
When it was time to think seriously about my Bachelor’s degree, art was greatest desire and greatest insecurity. By this time I was working part time in that same college as the student assistant for the Art Department under the management of the department head Ann Banas, and later, Dustin Harewood. It was in that studio on Kent Campus that I learned to paint, I learned what it was to critique works of art and stand back and critique my own. I learned how much I wanted to paint and how much I loved the learning environment. Still, I was a single parent and caring for a disabled uncle. I had to be practical, art isn’t practical. I chose to be practical. I earned my Bachelor of Applied Science degree Information Technology Management in 2015, nearly 17 years from the day that I first stepped foot on that campus to complete the coursework to earn my diploma.
Home had too many distractions and obligations. If I were to find a balance, make a compromise with myself, I needed a studio to work from. In the winter of 2014 I found the Union Warehouse, Jacksonville’s original distribution center on the fringe of downtown, and what would become the Union Studios. There with my brother from another mother, Kevin Wirth, we built the “Frankencoop” my new studio space at the Union Studios within the Union Warehouse. Using reclaimed pallets, scrap pieces of drywall, discarded two by fours found on the streets of Springfield and too many rusty nails to count, I proudly became the queen of my own compost heap and in my mind, legitimized myself as an artist.
As We Were
2012 oil on canvas
Our Endless Numbered Days
Vine Charcoal on Paper (2014)
Study of John Singer Sargent’s “A Capri Girl”
oil on canvas (2013)