Tuesday, February 15, 2011

For the Love of Art

When I grew up we never had to lock our house at night. In the summer we played outside all day, riding our bikes and catching lightning bugs in a jar. When it was really hot, a gang of us would head to the swimming hole and take a dip in the cool water. A few of us were brave enough to take the dare, climbing up the slippery bank, grabing ahold of the rope overhead, and swinging into the deepest part of the Mahantango Creek. Those were the days. Our parents weren't concerned about where we were because the neighborhood was safe and everyone looked out for each other.

"The Carefee Days of Summer"
This portrait was commissioned by
Dr. Carole Patton
Millersburg, Pa.
Copyright © Wiseman Graphics

"Crayfish Creek"
 commissioned by
Dr. Carole Patton
Millersburg, Pa
Copyright © Wiseman Graphics

 It was common practice for our parents to leave the keys in the ignition of the car until we became teenagers. Earning the right to drive came with rules. My Dad made me paralell park between two large garbage cans until I could do it without knocking both of them over; a skill I found very useful when I headed off to Art School in the city of York.

Leaving the country life as I knew it was one of the hardest things I ever did in my life.  The new sounds, the smells, the feeling of being closed in by a city busseling with traffic and people;  all for the love of art.  Never questioning my quest to fulfill a dream, I overcame each new fear with the determination to become an artist. Watching my father run a successful business taught me many things. One of them was hard work and determination are never easy, but it's always worth it.  The things you dream of don't usually get handed to you on a silver platter.  My pursuit didn't come without many obstacles.

Two weeks after I started classes at York Academy of Arts, my roomate and I were driving back to school after lunch when a small child ran into the side of my car.  Seeing her lifeless body lay in a pool of blood is an image only God could erase from my memory.  The five year old girl, who was known for darting in front of cars survived, but not without life long concequences. I eventually overcame the trauma by asking God to take away the nightmares that I suffered. I found strength in knowing that it simply wasn't my fault.

Art project deadlines soon had my attention and I was captivated by color theory, art history and anatomy.  Learning to draw an unclothed model was awkward at first. In time I didn't see a nude body, only form, light and shadow.

One day I noticed a very attractive man who never seemed to get over the fact that he was drawing a nude figure.  He managed to pull his easel into the corner of the room where he would hide behind his drawing and occasionally peek out to view the subject matter.  His conservative actions were not only amusing but attractive to me and it wasn't long till I discovered that he wasn't nearly as uncomfortable interacting with a clothed female.  He seemed more facinated by my artwork than I was. His art box was meticulously arranged and everything had it's place. Mine was a mess and even had a dent in the side of it from forcing it shut without making everything fit.

 It wasn't long till we discovered our shared passion for photography. We took advantage of every opportunity to leave the city and capture some good photos.  The only thing more fun than taking pictures was developing them in the dark room.  That is a story for another time. To read about how we moved back to the country read my blog titled, "Days with Tucker".

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