The white Ameri…

The white American stay-at-home woman of the 1980s had Toll Art, Ronald Reagan (with a “safe” middle class), Star Wars (to occupy young boys), and Cocaine. My mother was a part of the great Folk Art/Toll Art agenda. As with nearly everything that Black America contributes to the world in expressing the condition of the human soul through by whatever means are at hand, so too did American Folk Art/Toll Art find its way into my ‘White” home in the 1980s when I was just a little kid.
I was too young to understand anything other than the fact that Folk Art used magical plastic bottles of color that was ready-mixed in hundreds of colors with names that I tried to memorize. I did notice that possible the only color that was generally “hi-chroma” was white – even the black was still a deep charcoal; no where near the carbon black from the GOLDEN® Acrylic Paints and polymer emulsion mediums I would eventually use exclusively. Growing up with a house full of toll art … not just in my house, but my friend Brook Wallace had a mother that taught, produced, and eventually marketed the ready-made products which were all you needed to be an ‘artist. Sounded pretty easy to me … and i was told repeatedly that I had some sort of … Interjecting that: I hate these words, as I’ve heard them my whole life and so far there has been very little to show for all of the … talent, knack, ability, combined with the “I wish I could paint or draw like you”. To this day I do not believe the physical ‘skill’ required in producing anything that might be considered “pleasing” (whether that means disturbing or pretty) is a matter of practice and time, just like anything else our brains are capable of doing. if some people are given a head start in some way by means of “just knowing” when a piece of ‘Art works, then there are just as many humans going through the same process with how they cook their food, how far they can hit a little white ball, how many pills they can prescribe a patient to make the drug companies happy, cleaning up after other people, etc …
i guess for me, ‘art was a little thing I did a lot by myself as a child because i spent a lot of time alone and I had a strong desire to be able to draw like the ‘Artists who’s work was in all of the Dungeons & Dragons books and compendiums. But above all … It made me feel better about myself. That’s a complicated story I won’t go into, but I will say that I had to find a way to get approval from myself very early on … plus it was a different world I could create. Now, in hindsight … going to college thinking that my formal (and later conceptual) abilities would lead to a career was a very silly thing to do. But there is undeniable proof that I may not be out of it yet, so let’s see what happens with the new addition to the family (Evelynn).


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