Thursday, September 9, 2010

In the beginning... I drew.

I wanted to put up some of my old art pieces to show where my passion started.

I grew up with art in my blood. Genetics, you might say, from my dad's side. My dad has always been artistic and I grew up with him drawing little sketches, especially while the pastor was teaching at church. He had these great characters he would draw and even made a family called the "Derf" family with the main character, Fred Derf (Derf comes from spelling Fred backwards). In addition, my dad’s mom, in other words, my Grammy, was an art teacher for several years at a private Christian school. And when she retired from teaching, the school created and named an art award after her called the "Crystal Sexton Art Award." I remember having my first art lesson with her. We sat at the round kitchen table and drew a little flower and then painted in watercolor. I continued to have art lessons with her as I got older. During the summer months, my best friend and I would go to her house for lessons; and when we weren't distracting each other, we did some great work.

As a little girl, I wrote stories and then illustrated them. One of my first was about a mouse named Betsy who saved the day by killing a snake in her schoolhouse classroom with her pencil. And in the fourth grade, I wrote a story about a girl who brought her painting to life and went inside it. She was painting a rainbow, but when she ran out of red paint, she used her blood. The life from her blood brought the painting to life and she escaped into this new world. As she traveled through this land, she brought color and life back to what had become a land of black, white, and gray.

I am a non-traditional artist. Never crazy enough to fit in with the artsy-fartsy kids and yet never normal enough to fit in with all the...well…normal kids either. Rarely was I trying to make a political statement with my art nor was I a tortured soul who preferred to be left alone to work. Instead, I love being with people. In fact, some of my favorite work is portraits. Being able to capture someone is better than a stuffy still life. It wasn't until high school that I actually started to think that maybe I could have a career involving my artistic gifts. I never desired to be a fine artist, but I started to learn about this graphic design field. It was a way for me to mix art with business.

So I went to college and I became a graphic designer. But I haven't forgotten where it all started. And as I move on, I hope to do some more personal art projects as well as mixing the two mediums together. When I'm working on a project that I am really invested in and I'm able to block out all other distractions and dig in, I call it the "zone." It's kind of like going home, back to the basics, a happy place. When I'm in that zone, I am at my best and I am cookin'. At one point in time, I did a project in pastels that captured the Mary Cassatt idea of Mother and Child. Immediately I got swept away and did this piece in just over an hour. It's been awhile since I've been able to work like that, so I'm excited to dig in to a new project and get swept away again.

I don't have work from before high school available to put on here but here's some stuff I did in high school and some from my first year of college

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