Sunday, September 14, 2008

Vera Mulder

Having been an artist ever since I can remember, there is no need to reiterate the place art occupies in my life.
I remember drawing on whatever had a blank surface. I wanted to design clothes so I drew my own paper dolls and designed some “hum-dinger” outfits.
I only wish I still had some of these.
There were no art classes where I attended school, first through 12th grade. When teachers found out I could draw, Whamo!…
I was kept busy drawing this and that for bulletin boards. I don’t remember painting anything until my high school science teacher talked my parents into
buying a set of oil paints and brushes for me. Then she gave me a colored reprint of a landscape to copy onto a canvas board.
I soon figured out how to use the oils with linseed oil and turpentine. I matched the colors exactly without knowing the fundamentals of
color theory by mixing a tiny bit of this and of that, and comparing my mix to the color on the print.
College art class 101 was my first exposure to art classes of any kind. The big learning curve here was to learn that details don’t always belong in every work of art,
that there is simplicity of design and abstraction.
I attended college at a time I earned a K-12 teaching certificate with minors in art and music. Then I proceeded to amass enough hours in art, art history and
studio art to fulfill a doctorate. Of course, I never used those credits toward an art degree. Yet I have taught art for nearly four decades, writing curriculums,
starting the high school program at a high school, giving workshops locally and throughout the state, displaying my art in various shows and constantly
learning something new every day about some aspect of the arts. And, yes, I aced the art placement test required by State government for teachers a few years ago.
Therefore I have tried every genre, technique that I come in contact with. Because of my tendency to want to explore everything,
I have had a difficult time settling on only a few mediums. These include clay, especially hand building; batik, because this process slow me down and
requires planning; watercolor which is the hardest medium of all, leaving no room for mistakes and of course photography.
With the age of digital, Adobe and Paint Programs allow even more creativity.
In the years to come, I know there will be new things to learn and to try.
Inspiration can be found everywhere if you keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. Creativity is the key.

Batik is a technique dating back 2000 some years to the Island of Java where somehow natives discovered how to decorate cloth made of
plant fibers through a resist method. One uses some type of resist, which could have been tree sap back then, applies this to a surface and adds color over the area.
When all has dried, the resist is removed and presto, there remains a design in the color of the original surface.
One may repeat this step as often as he/she has different colors BUT the key is to go from light to dark, being sure all dries in-between steps.
Of course, at each step the artist paints resist over the newly applied and dry color before adding another. He/she must remember as well,
what happens when certain colors are placed over others, for example, blue over yellow will create greens.
This art form can be decorative, used on fibers or used on clay surfaces. It can be an art form creating portraits, scenes, action or other subject matter.
One’s imagination and creative spin are the only limits to this exciting art technique.

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