Friday, December 7, 2012

A new beginning

This blog is the offspring of a parent blog, The Naturalist's Angle, where I post about fly fishing, nature, conservation, and other outdoor adventure.

After many years of hiatus from purely artistic pursuits, I have finally decided to get back to it.

Let me give you a brief history.

I am probably one of the few people my age or younger who can honestly say I had a great public school education experience courtesy of the Memphis City Schools system. This was largely because of the art programs at the junior high and high schools I attended. These two schools were my neighborhood schools, and both are in short walking distance of the house where I spent the formative years of my youth. Even though they were my assigned schools by district, I had to "audition" to be placed into the "optional" art programs. (MCS offers what they call "optional" programs at many of the system's schools ranging from high level college preparatory academics to the arts.) Geography alone was not enough to give me the opportunities I was afforded. You had to prove you belonged.

When I was still in sixth grade at Willow Oaks Elementary (optional for academics), I went to an "audition" at Colonial Junior High to see if I had the basic skills to be molded into an artist. In addition to taking a portfolio of my naive elementary artwork for review, I was placed in front of a still life arrangement and given an hour to draw it. The "audition" was so called because many of the programs offered by the junior high and high school were performance based arts. These schools proudly wore the label of schools for the "Creative and Performing Arts," and within the halls the programs were simply referred to as "CAPA." It meant a lot to be a CAPA student at Colonial Junior High and Overton High School. You weren't cool if you weren't in a CAPA program... except for the band kids... they were and always will be nerds no matter where you go... only kidding, Kelly. ;)

A lot of time has passed since high school... over sixteen years to be honest. A lot of art has not been created in that time period. Sure, I've had a few projects here and there- a few murals, some exhibit art for a zoo where I worked, and I've even painted a canvas or two... but it's time for a new beginning.

One of my friends from high school, who joined the CAPA art program at Colonial Junior High in ninth grade, has found herself with a similar desire to reconnect with art. We're trying to keep each other motivated by picking a subject and simultaneously creating a piece of art. The rules are simple, we take turns picking the specific subject (which at present will be birds- mostly native to the eastern U.S.) and we post our products online at the same time. The are no limits on media, size, style, or anything else that could possibly restrict an artist.

Let the fun begin.

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