The Evergreen Journal #31
Discovering an Art Life:
We All Begin Somewhere
Today, I am publishing TWO articles on
The Evergreen Journal.
My NEW book
Songs for the Pilgrimage
is selected by AllAuthor and is included in the
September Book Cover of the Month Contest.
Today’s post on The Evergreen Journal, reveals my entry into the world of ART and Literature.
Everyone has to begin somewhere. Our life is about taking little steps in the beginning. We don’t know we are beginning a long journey. Yet, each little step begins the process. We are actually bringing the future into the present.
Discovering an Art Life:
We All Begin Somewhere
by Lynda McKinney Lambert
This is my first article on the topic, Discovering an Art Life. I’ll share my first tentative steps into the world of art and writing.
This brief overview covers many years of a life in the art studio and beyond.
First, I’ll reveal my initial steps. I confess, I had no idea that I would ever become an artist or live a life of art as I have done for over forty-six years.
In 1976, I was thirty-three years old, married to my high-school sweetheart, Bob. We had five children.
As you can imagine, my life circled around my husband, our five children, duties at home, pets, church activities, and community service work. We were busy people with lots of obligations at home and in our community.
My first oil painting in 1976 was a still life of a brown-glazed pottery crock and various dried weeds. That painting is still in my office to this day. When I experienced my first art class, however, I had no idea what an artist was or that art would become a passionate focus for the rest of my life.
I entered into a painting class with a friend from church. She is a professional painter who taught classes at her studio. I learned basic techniques of painting and I had lots of experience entering art exhibitions. She gave me a solid foundation and in a few years I was ready to take additional courses in new studies.
From those beginnings, my work received awards in nearly every art show I entered. I was painting one day a week in her studio during those three years. For the rest of the week, I painted after I got the children off to school.
My kitchen table became my art studio. I did not know at that time that I had entered a life-long journey to a destination I could never have imagined during those early years. All I knew was that I was hooked on painting pictures. I was in love with paint. These small steps were my first encounter in learning to become an artist.
After I attended classes at my friend’s studio for several years, I moved on to seek additional studies at a community art institute where I engaged in intense studies in color theory, art history, and different paint application methods. I studied with the director of the institute.
During this time, my exhibition experiences developed into national recognition in juried shows, feature stories in publications and recognition of my paintings. At one of the local shows, the juror took me aside and told me I needed to begin work at a university and should enter a degree program. He was a professor of fine art, so I was deeply interested in what he told me. This little conversation set me off in a new direction, and it changed the trajectory of my life.
Finally, after painting just about every day for nine years, I entered a university fine arts program. Now, I had an end goal firmly in sight. I would do whatever work necessary to get the education required to become a teacher in a university or college eventually.
For the next eleven years, I worked on my studies at several universities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. I had many opportunities that opened up for me during those years. One valuable experience was a trip to Europe in the summer of 1991. I was invited to attend a month-long course by one of my professors and that was another decision that brought new possibilities into my life in the future.
You see, each opportunity that comes to us will take us to a place we will need to be. I learned to never pass up an opportunity. The few times when I had not taken an opportunity, I learned later that it was a mistake. I see opportunities as gifts from God, that lead us to the next place where we need to go.
I officially started my academic art journey
in the summer of 1985.
I participated in a landscape painting workshop in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. I earned college credits that summer at Rutgers University and the Philadelphia School of Art.
When I returned home at the end of the program, I registered at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania as a BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) major. I was forty-two years old when I entered the fine arts program. My life had just taken an enormous step forward.
Over the next decade, I earned a BFA and an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Painting.
I also earned a MA in English because I had a passion for poetry and I loved to do research and write papers on Fine Art and English Literature.
Eventually, my years of higher education were completed.
I had seventeen years of studies behind me and I was ready for the next phase of my art life.
I became a fine arts and humanities professor at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. I entered my first teaching duties as a new professor.
I set a goal and put in the years
of work required
to reach that milestone.
Today, I can see that from the beginning, Plan A was God’s plan for me. I’ve been living out His calling for my life for nearly five decades. I’m still making new discoveries every day.
I need your VOTE for my book to make it to the next round on the AllAuthor Cover of the Month contest.
If you want to vote, please visit the site
This competition is an opportunity for thousands of readers to see my newest book. I love the cover of the book, and I hope other’s will also.
©Lynda McKinney Lambert, 2022. All rights reserved.
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