Artists Statement

I paint as often and as much as I can. I take classes when I can afford it, but the money usually goes to buy more art supplies. This blog is to share the results with you! I am a Work in Progress.

Dianne Lanning Fine

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Kicking and Screaming

OK, I'll admit it, I'm a chatterbox, a motor mouth. I've been known by any of these adjectives for years. It's probably why I ended up on stage. Well, definitely. Where else is a shy chatterbox going to find an outlet!
However... I've NEVER liked James Joyce, the stream of consciousness style, the idea sounds incredible self-centered and time consuming to me. So it suits me to a "T" say those who know me, but no. We shall see. But daily? Sounds like a time eating pit to me. I can do this, or I can have a life.

OK, to start. Almost two years ago I started rediscovering myself. I had stopped doing everything I ever wanted to do fifteen years before. To raise kids? No, it took the same number of years, but you might say I was raising my mother. The last 15 years of her life. I love her very much, but I had the usual problems and then some. I found I had stored my identity. I am still finding the packages and unpacking.
I had been pursuing acting, I'd just come back from London where I did post-Graduate work at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art when I found myself a care giver. And I used to sing.

I am a Christian and so I turn to my Father/Mother God first. She led me through that shadowed valley and out the other end. When I listen, things open up for me. But how often do we really listen? Isn't blogging sort of the antithesis of listening? Hmmm.

I guess I was really listening because things opened up for me. My friend Nan paints. The subject came up and it re-awoke the idea in me and the full blown urge to paint again burgeoned. I must have said something because Nan told me I had to come down to SoCal for a painting weekend! Instead of the usual demurring, "OK!" popped out of my mouth, and I didn't take it back! That alone was like a miracle after being tied to the house for so long, it was a total shift in thinking. And I did!

I had to go get some paints! My old ones were from college and I couldn't find my brushes. My Mom had painted, mostly oils, so I ransacked all the painting supplies in the house and did pretty well. Off I went. It was a perfect long weekend. Nan is wonderful fun and with her I could just let myself go! Nan introduced me to watercolor paint in tubes, too. I realized I needed to catch up to the 21st Century.

Nan told me to find a local watercolor class! There hadn't been any a few years ago, but by George! When I got back to the Bay Area I checked and there was a local one for a reasonable price! Then very shortly a new event was added to the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild (of which I am a member), a Victorian Pleine Air Painters Picnic. I signed up and started sewing. I took my old acrylics to that, we had a great time. Did you know that some kinds of acrylic paints CAN go bad? Well, they can in 15 years! And they smell BAD.

OK time to admit it. I had always loved drawing and painting, but I had never studied. I came close. In college I had studied acting, including Costume Design. For that we did renderings and they were usually in watercolor. Hence the old Grumbacher watercolor set. Then for a while when taking care of mother I modeled at the Academy of Art University. And I listened. I listened a lot. I absorbed. I often went home and did the assignment that had been given in class.

Class was very good for me. I found myself grinding my teeth sometimes (the teacher probably did too) because I was re-learning so much. But, let me tell you, TAKE a CLASS, it's so much better than trying to re-invent the wheel yourself, it saves a lot of time!

I discovered I could still draw. What a relief. And I love color! I re-learned how to look at things with paint in mind. It had been a while, but I used to have the habit of noticing where the light is brightest, the edge of shadows and shading. This had all been packed away for a long time, but, unlike the silver talents that were buried and not used, these "talents" were still there, waiting, not lost. It made me realize once again that it is the Truth that what comes from God is eternal, because he/she is eternal. God does not create something flimsy or that can decay.

After a few months of the class I put a couple of small works on ebay and they sold! The first one sold the second day of the listing for the "Buy it Now" price. Recently I sold my first commissioned work. Now I guess I need a gallery or so and a webpage. Everybody says I need a blog, so this is it.

The other aspect of my life that has reopened is the acting end. Back in the 80's before I took off for England, I volunteered at Recordings for the Blind. They are a non-profit, and record books for students who are blind. I discovered I loved it (no corsets, tight shoes or wigs) and I had a talent for voice acting. Well, I was away from that for the same reasons I was away from the other creative outlets. Then last Fall, my work hours were cut and I had Fridays off. I must have been listening again, I got in touch with them. They are now Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic. They needed me in the same time slot for which I had hoped. The new technology is wonderful, and I was re-introduced to it by directing first, because it was like starting from scratch. We had a long hiatus over Christmas because they were finally moving to a new studio. So I started back in and I am loving it! Now I am preparing a Demo for a company that does audiobooks. I have happy hopes.

My office job, which was another God-sent opportunity when I needed it, is going away while I move on. It seems the time is right. I had some panicy times, I had spent my retirement money on taking care of mother and had not been able to completely replace it yet. I do not qualify for SSN yet either, and there is no husband to pay the bills. But all these moves seem very right. I am being taken care of and guided to opportunities.

When I am painting or recording all Life feels fresh and new and vast as all infinity.

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