Folks, I don't like strawberry ice cream. Even my Dad's pleading, "But Lori, it's PINK!!!", couldn't convince me to try it. Ice cream is chocolate, end of story.
What I'm getting at is not the fact that I was spoiled, (which I was!), but rather that I knew, from a young age, exactly what I liked. I was the kid that either said, "yes", or "no". I couldn't be convinced to change my mind.
Growing up in Montreal gave me many exciting experiences. I had so many opportunities to visit Museums and Galleries; the Montreal Symphony Orchestra regularly held events for kids to enjoy classical music, even playing favourites we knew from Bugs Bunny cartoons. All the magic was right in front of me and I, of course, knew what I liked and what I didn't.
Being virtually alone, (other than a bored security guard in the corner!) with one of Degas' Little Dancer Sculptures was a pivotal moment for me. I remember my heart aching with loving her so much.
Even in elementary school, the World Book Encyclopedia, Volume "P" meant PAINTINGS. I greedily leafed through the pages, hungrily scanning the colours and shapes. When I discovered the artists of the Hudson River School however, time stopped. Asher B. Durand, Thomas Cole, Frederick Church and the others, ALL of them, became my new best friends.
I've always had an immediate "yes or no" reaction in my head and heart. It's especially evident when I paint or draw. I don't decide halfway through a piece, which wouldn't be fair, but at the end, when my skills have taken me as far as I was able to go that day. I walk away after propping the piece on the table or a shelf. Later on, discovering it there, is when it gets my approval...or not.
If it's a "yes", I share it with you lovely folks who take the time to look at my work. Here is a recent "yes".
If it's a "no", I gratefully acknowledge what I've learned through creating the piece, then I let it go, gently slipping it into the flames. On many a cold night I've been kept warm thanks to my "no" drawings in the woodstove.
Thank you for spending this time with me,