Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Small Start - nothing profound!

Be patient, this may or may not get to the point. This being my first post, will start a random account of why and how I am where I am today. I don't expect anyone to read this, but if they do, that is OK too. I will take it one step at a time and hopefully make sense of something - or maybe not. Since I've got to start somewhere, I'm just going to dive in and hope for the best.

This is, afterall, about ART. Eventually, I will start to display my paintings. However, I am not ready yet. I started painting daily February 10, 2009. I have over 60 peices completed with lots in the works. My mentor has advised me to make my first 5000 mistakes in private. I'm sure I'll start posting before I hit the 5000 mark, but wonder if I'll ever get past the mistakes part!

I started painting in 1982. I was in group therapy for 7 years in Atlanta and we had drawing boards and oil pastels under our chairs. When I realized our leader was not returning the drawings, I began keeping mine. I have 271 drawings dated from April 1980 to October 1985. The group was run by an elderly Psychiatrist named Lila Bonner-Miller. Lila was in her 90's when I began attending. She was a remarkable woman who had been an Internist until in her 60's. She then retrained and switched to Psychiatry. Lucky for us she did, it was a wonderful outlet to have this resource over so many years. With insurance, it cost me $7.50 a week, at the time, not much more than a movie. I couldn't afford not to go - they kept me somewhat sane!
17May1980 Night & Day, Standing Alone
May 22, 1982
Dec 29, 1984 - Self Portrait
October 1984 To Hell with it Let's Dance
In addition to Lila, our therapists were Elaine Mitchell and Ann McDowell (I think). Elaine was my therapist and a really wonderful person. Elaine was also a distant relative. Her brother, George Stubbs, M.D. and my sister, Beverly are married, celebrating thier 35th anniversary this August. At first it was strange confiding to someone that was related, but Elaine was the most down to earth and understanding person I've ever known. She was a gift and I miss her to this day. She passed away in the early 2000's.

............................... George and Beverly Stubbs, May 2004
Ann is still counseling in Atlanta. After Lila quite practicing, I started seeing Dr. Thomas Bantley, M.D. in Decatur. It was through that connection that Ann met and went to work with Dr. Bantley.
During those 7 years, one man inadvertantly became my first mentor. His name was Michael Morgan. Michael was an art student slash waiter and therapy patient. For many years, we didn't see any specific art talent in Michael's drawings. Finally, Lila coaxed him to show her some of his work. We were all blown away and bought as many pieces of his work as we could. I have 2 of his paintings and gave one to my best friend as a gift.
My 1st Michael Morgan - untitled

Michael Morgan - Roberta Flack album cover

Once in group, I was drawing from memory a poster of hearts by Jim Dine that I wanted to buy. Michael said, don't buy it, paint it your self! I said, Michael, I don't have any idea how to do it or what supplies I'd need. That day, after group, Michael took me to the Atlanta Art Supply store and I bought a six-pack of acrylc paints + white & black, a small jar of gesso, a few brushes and a 10 page tablet of canvas sheets. I spent about $35 and the painting began.

Jim Dine - Hearts 1970

my 1st painting 16x20 - 1983

This was before the days of finding good photo's on the internet. I had a tiny image from a catalogue, about 1.5 by 3 inches, which had no detail to speak of.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Dine. Because of you, I am still painting 35 years later. I have enjoyed my rendition of your painting and it has been displayed in my home all these years. Because of this painting, Mr. Jim Dine has been a favorite and remembered artist in my life all these years. Thank you Jim Dine where ever you are!

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