Category Archives: Art and such

Inspiration, assignments and successful art

Monday night at CCA, The Dirty Drawers gather to work from live models, honing their skills.

Other inspired art - but not mine.

I never know when a spark of interest or curiosity will strike, but I begin envisioning how I then will bring it to my art. Though

inspiration has led me to cobble together a series of mixed-media art based on purging a deep anger I harbored, to letting music transpose my joy of the music to fun and fresh takes on birds and nature, I have relied heavily on “assignments.”

Always ready to take on the challenge of jobs on deadlines and enjoying the worlds of publishing and  newspapers, I seemed destined to do the “Tarzan.” Swinging from assignment to assignment, I rarely looked ahead more than three or four “vines” or project steps. My worst tendency was to take on multiple projects at once. Overlapping deadlines, and major challenges in production and content caused me to bury my head further in the details and timelines, while attempting to avoid corporate intrigue. (The last issue was never-ending and stalled many projects that nonetheless was going to press.)

Assigned projects in the realm of “studio” or “gallery” art allowed me to soar and grow creatively. As a member of the Abilene-based Center for Contemporary Arts (many moons ago), I developed works on the themes established for member (group) shows. Having parameters and deadlines still offered my need for structure,

but I created out of delight. Setting my own standards for content and technique.

Traveling forward to present-day, I want to capture that same delight in my work, but have no underlying “assigned” project or task. (My thought is public school assignments and structure, also a major trend at the college level, programmed my sensibilities and motivation – yes, I’ll go so far as to say, regimented my creative process.)

Losing my job at Abilene Reporter-News to lay-offs and buy-outs, I lost my way as the paradigm of computer technology careened head-long into my training and familiar work ethic.

I learned how to use computers after I learned traditional graphic design; I learned much more about journalism and writing long after I earned a college degree. So, now my task is to  call on my 50+ years of experience to spark a personal Renaissance. Can’t wait to see how far I can go!


Aunt Dolores

The summer of 1966 was a great time to be alive, until that summer. My mom packed up all four of us girls – me, Margaret, Elizabeth and Laura – and headed South with Grandma (Dorris Edwards) at the wheel. We were on a 550 mile trip from Abilene, Texas to Mercedes (a small Rio Grande Valley town between Harlingen and McAllen).

Daddy would drive down after his work week to meet us. Unfortunately the plans changed.

We didn’t make it.

Somewhere on the highway near Alice at a blinking-yellow-light  intersection, a gentleman in a pickup (?), ran his blinking red light and plowed into our car.

No, I don’t remember anything of the crash. Nor does my sister Margaret. She and I were the only two who survived the crash and subsequent fire.

I found out later that a gentleman from Mercedes pulled me and Margaret from the burning wreckage, but no one else made it. The two of us were transported to the nearest hospital – Corpus Christi. Then after two weeks Aunt Dolores (Edwards) appeared, had Margaret and I placed in a station wagon – on stretchers., and drove us to John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.

Dolores took charge and stayed in charge of our recovery time in Galveston where she, Uncle Robert (Daddy’s brother), and their kids, Mike, Barbara and Charles lived. Robert was doing his residency at the University of Texas Medical branch in both Galveston and Houston.

Through the next weeks and months Dolores made sure we had everything we needed. Then, when discharged, she enrolled me in a local private school, and every other Friday took me to Houston so I could be fitted with an artificial eye. When Margaret was discharged, Dolores put together a birthday party for her with all the trimmings. She also organized our Halloween costumes. (Uncle Robert carried Margaret , who was in a leg cast – as we all went Trick-or-Treating.)

I don’t know everything Dolores for us during that time in our lives. I can only guess. But I definitely appreciate her dedication during that life-changing time.

Daddy came to see us every other weekend until we were able to go home to Abilene. At Christmas Daddy bought a special gift for Dolores on behalf of us all … a mink stole from one of the best department stores in Abilene at the time – Minter’s.

We were back in Galveston for Christmas. Grandpa Edwards (Tom) came up from Mercedes. After the gift-giving and big holiday feast, Daddy, Robert and Grandpa traveled to Mercedes to personally thank the fellow who rescued us.

Dolores stayed in Galveston, managing the house full of kids while nursing a head cold. Awesome woman.

Early this morning, Dolores passed away after a three-year struggle with ALS. She is loved and respected by so many, having touched lives through her work as Nurse practitioner and medical missionary along side Robert.

Thank you, dear Dolores. I love you.