fine art

Lydia Mong Several years ago, after reading Ned Herrmann's book, The Creative Brain, I learned to draw. In this book he described programs in which he used a whole-brain approach to develop peoples' creativity. One part of the program that really intrigued me involved teaching people who did not consider themselves naturally creative how to draw. He used the approach developed by Betty Edwards which is described in her book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. The before and after pictures were dramatic.

Now, I considered myself a creative person at the time, but I really didn't think I could draw like the folks in Ned's workshops did. So I bought Betty Edwards' book, did the exercises, and guess what? I discovered I really could draw. Not only that, I found that I also really enjoyed blending colors and watching a picture miraculously emerge on the paper.

As I look back, though, I can see that my leanings toward art were always there... When I was still in grammar school, my grandparents owned a bakery. My grandmother could make flowers on cakes look so real you wanted to sniff them instead of eat them, but she couldn't draw. So occasionally she'd ask me to draw things on top of cakes. I always wondered why she thought I could do that. I never thought I could draw at all... even after I did! As an adult, the same thing has happened in every job I ever had. Any time anyone wanted some artwork or graphic design work done, they'd ask me to do it. That always seemed strange to me... "Why do they think I can do this?" I'd ask myself. My own ability was hidden from me, until Betty Edward's book came along.

Colored pencils became my chosen medium and I pursued art as a hobby for a while. Then in 1997, after more than 20 years of working for various non-profit and corporate employers, I made the decision to pursue a full-time career as an independent artist. Before long I added pet portraits. And it wasn't long before web design, desktop publishing, and graphic design became part of my business, too.

buddy&me With SymbolArt, I am able to combine my love of the natural world and my interest in Celtic and Native American lore with my artistic ability to symbolically represent the "inner person." Painting a person's portrait is one thing, but painting a portrait of a person's soul is another. I look upon my portraits as a spiritual endeavor. The circular backgrounds provide a connection to the cyclical and circular nature of life. The spirits of animals and trees demonstrate our connection to Earth and all her life forms. I've always felt that connection very strongly.

As for my background, I'm a native of Clarksburg, WV and hold bachelor's and master's degrees from West Virginia University, neither of which have anything to do with art. In fact, I never took an art class though I have attended workshops by Ann Kullberg, Vera Curnow, and Diane Locati. All those were after I'd already sold a few commissioned pieces. My career has been varied, going from public recreation (in Norfolk, VA and in Clarksburg), to the YMCA (in Clarksburg and in Lawrence and Andover, Massachusetts), to selling real estate (not my favorite line of work), to management training and development which occupied the ten years before I became a full-time artist and designer. dogs and me

My other artistic passion is theatre, and I'm involved with various community theatre groups in this area. You can see what I do in that realm of art by visiting my theatre website. I live in a wonderful spot surrounded by woods just outside the Clarksburg city limits with my husband, David, our dogs, D'Artagnan and Buddy.

Bright blessings to you,

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