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artist journy



Judy asked to have a bit of our history and my turned into a book so I'm putting it here.


I'm not sure about posting my history, but here goes. As a child I loved to draw, In high school art was of course my favorite class. In 1972 I started a community college with my major being art. I had very little support in this. I think that my Mother thought community college was a safe place for me to be until I got married. For her generation of thinking a woman got married for safty, support and stability and having a daughter to want to go to college, burn bras, march in protests, be sexually active or worse join the military ( which I tried to do). She said more than once that a "LADY" could be a teacher, nurse or secetary and since I wasn't smart enough to be a teacher or nurse and I flunked typing, marriage and motherhood was the only choice. I know in this day in age it's hard to imagine, but 1972 wasn't so far out of the depression and post war days and the "Old South" where women had certain roles. So after only 2 quarters of college I gave into the pressure, dropped out of school and aggred to marry my boyfriend.


I only made my new husband promise one thing, that I would be able to go back to school. He wasn't supportive in my artist endevers. I had to hide my sketch books and only draw while he was at work. He once gave me an oil paint set, but having a 1 year old running around all day, I couldn't use it when he was up, so I tried to use it when he went down to bed, only to be yelled at for trying to paint at night. So I put that away and didn't pick up a brush for over a decade. During this time my aunt died and her husband gave me all of her boxes and boxes of quilting fabric and half finished quilts and my mother-in-law gave me her 1944 singer sewing machine and I was intruduced to quilting. we were so broke, I took used typing paper and a ruler and make my own grapf paper and drew out quilt patterns. Only thing was none of my husband's friends wives quilted, he wanted me to do cross stitch like they did. So again I had to do my sewing after he went to sleep or during the kids nap time during the day. His aunts loved that I quilted and I spent a lot of happy times looking at all of their quiltd dating back to the 1800's. I made a baby quilt for one of his buddy's wife's baby shower and his friend couldn't stop talking about how much they loved that quilt and how much it meant to them and the design and quality of the work, so after that I was allowed to make quilts in the open but still had to keep the drawing in the closet.


I did manage to take a painting class and a drawing class through a community college adult education class.


I then taught myself cake decorating and finally got a job outside of the house as a cake decorater. After a few years of that I made my move to go back to school. I wanted to study accounting. ( thought it would allow me to make enough to get a divorce). I applied and was accepted and drove to the school to meet with a counsolor and could't make it in the door. I cried all the way home. I was too nervous, shy, asham of being fat and old. The next quarter I made it, and a new world open up to me. I did good in my classes. Turned out I wasn't a dumb as I was told, just had a learning disability and once I learned how to work around that I felt like I was flying. I really did well in math and thought about changing to Drafting. One quarter I wanted to take the beginning drawing class just to show my self that I wasn't any good. And the rest is history. I fell in love with the class. The teacher treated me like I was talanted and smart. I ended up on the dean's list every quarter I was there. When I would take finished paintings in for grading I had teachers following to ask to buy them. The school bought 3 of my works. One was a quilt, one was an oil painting and one was a color pencil piece.


I then went to a State University in Atlanta and did well there. I learned a lot but ended up getting a divorce and had to stop classes to get a job. My daughter and I moved and I was lucky enough to get a job as a graphic artist. Then my daughter started using drugs and everything artistic just froze up. I tried taking a weaving class and loved that and wanted to go in that directions but the college dropped that major to make room for graphic design. I had just enough in Alimony to cover college expenses, just long enough to finish, but I ended up using that money for my daughter's rehab.


It was a long journy for my daughter to get clean for most of the time I was frozen and couldn't really let go enough to do what I wanted. But now things have shifted inside of me. I'm interested to see what comes from this.


Clayton College Associated Degree/Art(Painting)


Georgia State Univeristy Junior Year


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