my artistic journey

McKenna Woolleynews

©mckenna woolley. self portrait. ilford 35mm b&w print. 2011

I’ve never considered myself an artist. I jump here and there from pursuit to pursuit and yet have not yet discovered who I am as a painter and what my voice is. I don’t spend hours sketching away in a book with graphite in hand, drawing all the things that come to mind. In fact, many ideas for paintings or drawings rarely come to mind until I am completely engaged in the process. Along side the smell of rain, the lush smell of oil paint infusing the air as I mix through it’s creamy texture with a pallet knife gives me a sense of pleasure only found in the quiet simple moments of life, like reading a deeply enthralling book while lying on a white bed in a sunlit room.

I began my dive into artistry in high school acquiring a love for the darkroom and the photographic process in tenth grade. I further developed this trade during those years, spending much of it in the 33mm black & white film world and on the yearbook staff. Later I invested in a, now ‘vintage’, Canon model of a digital SLR. I began shooting family and children’s portraits with a wedding here and there. My passion for photography still lies in the process and the fine art aspect, much of which I feel was lost in the digital age. Where I was lead me to pursue the other aspects of art spending many hours exploring graphic design. Though as a photographer and designer I always admired the original two-dimensional fine art of painting but knew that my skills lacked. “I don’t draw, and I don’t know how to paint” I thought. But oh, how I wanted to!

In the past I was lead to believe that in the world of art, that a person’s craft is only as good as how young they were when their talent was bestowed upon them. Many foreword’s or artist introduction’s claim that the artist came forth from the womb dancing, singing and playing the piano, or drawing advanced forms or writing symphonies by the age of three. So how does that make the rest of us feel who don’t discover our passion until later in life? And this talk about talent?

It took me some time to get past this idea that I needed to already be proficient in painting and drawing before I could find legitimacy in the art world. Though I do believe that talent exists, that some things come more naturally to others, I don’t believe that things can’t be learned without talent. Being born with talent doesn’t create an artist. I believe painting and drawing can be learned or discovered within one self, and that is what I am coming to discover about myself.

I am on my way to this artistic self discovery as I get an academic education at Utah Valley University. I’m currently at a mere Sophomore status having spent my post-highschool grad years in Germany as a nanny and pre-school teacher. Upon my return to Utah I began school immediately with a new drive to explore my artistic passions. I spent my first few semesters assuming photography was my path. Soon realizing I had lost my soul enthusiasm for the art I took a step back from photography in need to satisfy my hunger for the painting and drawing medium. Leading me here to the present; 25 years old, married to the most wonderful man on the planet a baby-boy to be born near the end of May, spending my time with oiled pigments, brushes and blank canvases.

This journey of discovery is one I hope you will join me on with this blog as my blank canvas and you as my inspiration. My hope is to have a pallet for my own personal inspiration and to help you, my viewers, come to discover and appreciate all variants of art and discover what it is that inspires the people who create their work. I believe that when you come to understand another individual’s passion for creating, you discover something about yourself and your passion as well.

Please don’t be shy, leave your comments, and become involved by sharing your inspiration with me! I’d love for this blog to be an interactive discussion and to feature a variety of crafts!