My parents knew I was onto something when at the age of 4, I sketched my first cartoon character "Popeye the Sailor Man" on a draw and erase pad! From then on, I continuously drew what I saw to the point that in my first-grade class in Catholic school, the nun wrote on my report card the following comments:
First Quarter: Ivy is distracted drawing during class.
Second Quarter: Ivy continues to be distracted drawing in class.
Third Quarter: Ivy is finally paying attention in class and doing well.
Fourth Quarter: Ivy once again continued to draw in class.
To no one's surprise, I repeated first grade.
Fast forward to high school and college. In high school, I took two years of commercial art as an elective. I enjoyed the class and hoped that one day I would become a commercial artist. Later in college, I was awarded with an associate in arts degree in guess what? Commercial Art.
Did I pursue my life-long passion for art?
No, I did not.
As many artists I know, I allowed family and friends to discourage me as they insisted that I get a "real" job. So, I did. I went back to school and got a bachelor degree in English, became certified as a Paralegal and joined the rat race to contribute to my household bills and raise my children.
Throughout the years, the closest I got to the visual arts was photographing and videotaping my children's every move. I also planned and designed their birthday decorations, assisted them on their school projects and scrap-booked whenever I could. On various occasions, I visited nearby art shows and fairs to admire the artwork of others. At one point, I designed shell and stone jewelry which I sold at work. At another point in my life, I fell in love with dried flower arrangements which was in at the time. Unable to pay the high price for topiaries and wreaths, I began to dry, design and sell my own which I decorated with fancy ribbons. My kitchen looked like a shrine aligned with dried-up flowers hanging upside down in multiple rows on all four walls!
On Mother's Day 2016, my children gifted me with a two-hour group art class and although my artwork was by no means impressive, my passion resurfaced! Immediately thereafter, I registered for a local art class to learn how to paint with acrylics, something I had done twice at most in the past. The 2-hour weekend classes taught me how to hold the brush, mix colors and the basics of shading. I also worked in pastels. I began with still life and evolved to painting portraits of family members. I also joined several art groups on Facebook which encourage me to be fearless and post my paintings.
Now that my youngest child is in college and the oldest graduated, married and moved away, I am pursuing my life-long dream in the arts. I have since left the legal field and work for the family business which although unrelated to fine art, gives me the flexibility I need.
So, here I am. Where will this take me? I am not sure, but for the first time in a while I am in "my zone" and enjoying the journey. :)