Thursday, January 5, 2017

An Artist Signature by Judith Durr

Delaware Moccassins copyright Judith Durr 
Any journey begins with the first step...
I encourage everyone who wants to begin, take one step in the direction you want to go. Doors will open, opportunities will present themselves. Just take that STEP...Success is yours.

One of the first elements conveyed to my students is, "Each of us brings to our art life, our experiences, influences, and inspirations, these become our Signature. When we realize we are all unique and different in our approaches then as we begin to paint, we begin to create."


For as long as I can remember I dreamed of being an artist.

A couple questions I am often asked is, "have I painted most of my life and does your talent come naturally?"


Growing up, we did not have much money, both parents worked to keep us fed an clothed so supplies may have been $1.00 drawing book, paper and pencils. When I was younger, I wanted to draw well, but I wasn't good at it. My parents painted, good do-it-yourselfers. My Grandfather retired at 65 and took painting classes at a local college. He was incredible. Please! I know about DNA... If they could do it and were good at it, I have their genes. Well, I have their genes, however I did not have their talent and it sure did not happen by osmosis! Nope, I had to work at this.  I realized practice is one of the keys to success. It was with practice that I got better.  One of my favorite memories is the the magazine ad that said, "If you can draw this you may be an artist?"  One of the ads had a leprechaun. I practiced so much that at one point, I did not have to look at the ad.

 It was in my 30's,  I began to draw seriously. Encouraged to take a local 6 week drawing class, I begin my journey. I began practicing and got better. Practicing on my own, with limited time and raising a family, I realized I loved drawing and needed more.  I was reading anything I could find, do-it-yourself painting books, devouring everything. On a small scale, I was receiving commissions, actually making money...hooked. There were so many things, places and opportunities available to me. Pastels, colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolor, acrylics, I tried them all, looking for my passion. Not one of these satisfied my hunger. The only thing left was oil paints. I put off oils because I tried oil painting in high school...I was just pushing it around, not even close to what I envisioned. So after breaking through my...bad memories.  Then, the TV brought the 30 minute paintings!! I began watching TV.  Color and fast! "Yep, that's for me.

I began painting in 1989. The introduction to color, changed my life. I began this fantastic journey.
In 1990 I took a local art class and began doing small art shows. In 1995, I began painting full time. I did as many art shows as I could just to pay bills. I found success by going out and working hard. I was receiving commissions, wonderful commissions that gave me the opportunity to travel! Commissions paid my way to Scottsdale Art School, studying with Jim Daly for three years.  Sales opened the door to galleries and museums. Art opened up the world for me.

I found some negative from some who did not understand the artists life.  When I went full time, My Dad reminded me that artists could not make enough money to make a living. He said something about "starving artists." I DID NOT WANT TO STARVE! As time went by, he realized I could make a wonderful living and now he's a fan.




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