Artwork by Evelyn Johns Rivera
I started becoming interested in making art in grade school, when a teacher unexpectedly posted a pen drawing of two bears that I had made as an illustration to a story assignment. I had not thought of myself as someone capable of making art until that day. Since that day, I have got on with it in life, enjoying my day job and my family, always doing art. I always wished for the day that I had all the time in the world to focus on art, but that day has not yet come. I realized along the way, that even the “great” artists still had lives and that a balance is often needed between the two parts of this world.
I have always wanted to better myself as an artist. At first, raising children, I had little income to devote to it, so I continued to draw, and painted as I could afford it. I eventually went back to school to study art, joined a local painting cooperative, and colored pencil association, and learned to exhibit and sharpen my skills. When your life is always rooted in art, art has a way to live within it. My challenge of not having enough time and money was gradually conquered, by living art, one day at a time.
All along the way in life, art is life. It draws you in, as a mystery to be solved. The greatest challenge is to continue each day to unfold the mystery, learn new skills and techniques, listen to other artists, take their advice, become better. Art is not solitary, to become a better artist relies on the give and take of yourself and others. Learn from good teachers and then give back what they have taught you. Give back in your own voice.
I believe that the Old Masters Academy gives you skills that are tried and true. I am constantly opening up my art history books and going back to earlier masters — they inspire me and teach me. If I win the Old Masters Academy course, I believe I would share what I learn with others, I believe that it would create new ideas and a new direction that will improve my art. It’s a lifelong journey and you can always learn, if you want to — that’s why a vote for me would be well spent, above everything, I want to learn and I want to share.