Monday, 26 January 2009

Back to My Roots

Guidance counselors expected you to make life altering decisions when you were a mere 14 years old. And, I was just ambitious enough, that I thought I was up to the challenge.

With the entrance examinations passed, I had been accepted, enrolled, and my first tuition deposit paid, to a private, Catholic, all-girls high school.
I thought it was what was expected of me and what I wanted, but then . . .

The lure of being one of the first girls accepted into a previously all-boys school, that had, as a major, Graphic Arts and Photography, was just too much to pass by.
And therein the first fork in the road appeared, taking me on a journey I might otherwise have missed.

For one thing, had I attended Nardin Academy, I would never have met my husband-to-be.
And although the outcome, many years later, was divorce, I wouldn't, today, have my three beautiful children if not for that very first fork in the path of my life.

My decision to attend public school, with boys, photography, and art, instead of private school with girls, church, and nuns, was a good one.

The things I learned at McKinley High School have remained part of me, and have kept me in good stead throughout the intervening years.
The many elements of graphic art and photography have woven their threads into the very fabric of who I am.

A teacher there once said something like: ' as you travel through life, you might think you have left art behind, but you will always come back to it because you love it and it is part of you.'
How right he was!

I have worked as both an amateur and a professional portrait photographer; my home makeovers have allowed me to rekindle all sorts of elements of design; when I had my classroom, I used art to motivate little ones using fabric, paint, and photography to ensure quality outcomes for their work; with the introduction of computers in the classroom, new vistas were found to expand on the traditional, classroom-contained lessons, allowing for publishing to a global audience, that included web design for on-line college applications.

I developed a course for teachers to help them make better use of the websites they had, drawing on information I learned in high school, about print advertising.

And here I am today, in the 21st century, exploring the uses of electronic means for manipulating art that might be 100 years old!
And creating new things from old and offering them to the world.

But this past week, a little bit of my roots came haunting me.
Lessons from the past, the lure of the finished portrait, and the desire to create - to make a beautiful image that will last for a lifetime, all came together to draw me out and away to photograph our granddaughter, Hannah.

And here she is.



3 comments:

Vineyard Painter said...

I love the vintage sepia tones...beautiful work.

I also enjoyed reading your thoughtful reflections on your gifts as an artist and how our lives change but that remains a constant.

natalie jo said...

Greetings Maggie,

Hannah is a doll and your photos are a beautiful memento of this precious time in her life. As always your work is lovely!

I really enjoyed reading your creative journey...got me thinking about my own. Funny, I too, began my studies in Graphic Design and met my husband in high school art class! Have kept the husband but traveled through the realms of painting and art history...cooking and cake decorating...housekeeping and gardening...smocking and quilting...and on and on...

Fondly,
natalie jo

flutterbypatch said...

Beautiful images of sweet Hannah with her whole life ahead of her. I wonder if she'll follow the creative route as her grandma has done. Great story, what a journey.