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Sally Anne Turner - Getting Creative (Copy)

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S: Sally Anne Turner DON'T PAINT TO RELAX!

BC: Honk if you see me out painting! Paris? Michigan? California? Arizona? Who knows!!!! email : zonasally@cox.net

FC: Sally Anne Turner DREAMS HAVE A PRICE!!!

1: I always wanted to move to the country and learn to paint! I had finally gotten out of Detroit and moved to Metamora, Ohio in the country. In December of 1989 I had the TV on. Bob Ross was teaching painting! (The "happy accident white guy with afro) I went to the store, bought a paint kit and did my first oil! | It was a waterfall! And some fog! Seems I needed for more training!!

2: About this time I went to a Willie Nelson concert at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. My next attempt to paint was this! I wanted color reflections on the floor of the dresses...then decided to try to add a chandelier...threw in a rug for more color.... It wasn't working so well. I decided I needed more training before attempting this again!

3: I had never taken art classes that I wasn't forced to all the way through high school. In the second grade a teacher did take away a picture I did to send off on a traveling show. It was returned the next year but I guess my Mom wasn't too impressed - it went straight to the trash. It wasn't the type of household that had works of art posted on the frig or walls. Art was not considered of much value, although my mother did buy a few paintings through the later years.! | Senior year in high school I also went to Wayne State University at night. Had gone to Lawrence Institute of Tech that summer before. While waiting for the bus, sitting on Woodward by The Thinker (Rodin)...I noticed that the Detroit Institute of Arts had a school. On the sly, I enrolled in Saturday classes. (busy summer...also had nose job)

4: I managed to take Life Drawing, Perspectives and also auto billboard stuff.! My father never found out about it. He wanted a calculator in my hand. Said art was fine for a hobby but not a living. NO going to Parson's School of Design for me! My mother, one day, saw me come into the house with a case. Demanded to know what was in it. So, I showed her. | She was HORRIFED. A NAKED MAN with his "ding dong showing. PORNO.

5: I tried to get her to ease up a little. Showed her some other things I had done in the class that also included women and one class the model actually DID have clothes on...

6: I LOVED that teacher. Pat Lichtieg. I was very shy coming into her class. Had never stared at naked people before let alone tried to draw any. Had never used charcoal before, never taken a class since probably freshman year at high school. There were about 15 or so other students. She would warm us up on gesture poses - very quick poses that we would quickly render on newsprint. Then for the last two hours of class she would give us long poses to practice. Towards the end of class she made group together and would travel from easel to easel critiquing our work, publicly. I was HORRIFIED. Wanted to shrink up into nothing and run away. By about the 3rd class, Pat had made up her mind to teach me something. She'd make sure to leave my easel until last. Then she would critique mine and WOOSH. She would RUB OUT all my hard work and tell me to start again.

7: How I wanted to cry! She NEVER did this to any other student - just me. She just looked at me and said, "If you did it once you can do it again." Never said anything other than that, one time. And yet, week after week this same routine was repeated. I'm amazed I actually managed to keep these charcoals - I must have hid them from her. I took her classes for the whole year, each Saturday morning though. Sometime, probably the second session with her I stopped her one day from smearing my morning's work. Jumped right in and said, "Let me do the honors." And I smeared it away. She smiled. She knew that I had at last gotten her message. She was a fine teacher. One of the best I ever had and I still try to remember what she taught me by doing that. CONFIDENCE. Also, okay to cut your losses. A-OK to make mistakes. You might lose the picture but you don't lose the skill. Concentrate on improving your skills.

8: Pat also introduced me to Conte crayons. Pastels. Watercolors and inks. She would declare a class...demand we all use something other than just charcoal so that we would try different things. Always using a live model though.

9: Later, I had to go to work while I went back to Lawrence Institute of Technology for a BS in Business Admin full time. I waitressed and also worked at CCH Computax. I didn't have a lot of time to do any art in those days. Nor did I have access to models! | So I would use book covers I liked or calendar pictures. Whatever. And I practiced pastels and water colors a bit. Then I landed a full time job at IBM and switched college to nights. No more art stuff.

10: Pat's Life Drawing class was in the morning. Afternoon class was with Mr Williams. Perspective. HOW I HATED THAT CLASS as well as the "teacher". EVERY class, for the entire year, it was the same thing. He would set up objects that were all spray painted white and tell us to draw them. Then he would walk out and come back to class for about the last ten minutes. No critiques or anything. We couldn't even figure out why he ever bothered to show up. He did show us perspectives, sort of. One vanishing point and then two vanishing points. He probably just left copies of an article and told us to duplicate it. I don't think I ever bothered to keep ANY of my work from that class other than the two perspectives. Some students even got to class early to try to hide his tin, painted white old coffee pot. We were all bored to death with looking at. This was the only Saturday class on perspective drawing, a basic requirement of the school that could not be avoided.

11: This is about the only evidence I have now of my experience in that class. Taped inside an old sketch book! I threw out everything else hoping to forget, I suppose, it ever even happened!!! No wonder I hate to work with pencil even today!

12: At last, I was able to take another class! Mr. Huggley I think his name was. He sure was handsome! I can't recall the name of the class but it was to teach you to draw cars. Industrial Designing I think it might have been called! He was very patient. Meticulous. Very different from my other teachers. Taught us how to work with velum and pastels. Magic markers, lighter fluid, pens. And to use both sides of the paper. | Here is one of my firsts! I threw a lot of the early stuff out - it was just too embarrassing!

13: Although I did other work I don't seem to have much to show! The subject matter didn't do much for me really even if I did grow up in Detroit! Not the kind of stuff you decorate with.... It did teach me to work with some other mediums and in different ways. He was very low pressure...gentle soul.

14: Off I went to the job market in 1978 and art education ceased until I started to follow Bob Ross on educational TV to learn oil painting in 1989. Then I followed a few of his buddies. They all taught me some VERY BAD habits! Any practice is go though I suppose. Then I discovered Helen Van Wyck who was also on educational TV. She did not try to teach you to paint something in a half hour from your imagination though. She was OLD SCHOOL. Worked with models. Taught about mediums and studio set ups. She taught some of the same things Pat Lichtieg had in my life drawing classes in charcoal. They could have been great friends I bet! I bought about five series of her VHS tapes...many books.

15: Actually film was used for pictures then and although I don't have a photo of the actually set up (top painting) I did return to the habit of actually looking at whatever I painted. I guess I threw out my curry comb and apple but I still have my riding boots and hat! And yes, that was a real door and view I painted in the background!

16: Helen was big on teaching you to paint "whites". To learn that white is not white! Yes, I really did crack open eggs and paint them! She also introduced me to...self portraits! TALK ABOUT HUMILIATING! But if you can't hire a model you have to do what you have to do!

17: Time passed. Somewhere about 1991 I was sent, by IBM to Rochester, Minnesota for a six month assignment to teach a new release of the AS/400. Lucky me...it started in the fall and ended in March or so! VERY COLD THERE and not too exciting of a place. Not allowed to socialize with students and being in a strange town alone...I looked for something to do. LO and BEHOLD there was an oil painting class taught through the museum. I enrolled into my first oil painting class. Joel something was his name I think. Come on, it was a long time ago! He had us paint in the studio...ridiculous things. I didn't keep too much of what I did there. But he also taught me two things. Painting on wood and also was the first to teach me to paint outdoors, live, on site.

18: The teacher assigned about a mile stretch of country road and told us to go set up somewhere and paint. He would find us. I set up on the road to paint this barn. Being a city girl I had never seen a round barn before. The teacher did come and find me but I can't recall any conversation with him about it. What I VIVIDLY recall is that it was getting warm in the afternoon. I just kept painting and didn't care if "class" was over. About 2pm or so a car pulled out of the driveway and came to me. The owners wanted to have a look at it - had noticed me out there toiling away! They told me it was a very old barn and was indeed very special, a historical marker. I hoped that I hadn't insulted them but...no...they didn't really care. Were flattered I took the time to notice it! And then they gave me TWO very cold Budweisers! Still, I am not a beer drinker but it was PERFECT that day! I learned how NICE it could be to meet people while out painting. And I also learned to pack a cooler and bring some snacks and extra clothes!!! I also learned that if you paint landscapes you don't need to pay a model!

19: Class was over but I then knew I could go paint outdoors anywhere I wanted! And I didn't worry about what people would "think" or if they would see my work. I was still shy about it but I worked up LOTS of nerve in the next years to come! I camped out at one last location in Rochester and did this farm. | I went back home to Ohio and painted this farm just down the street from me. It was very cold and I had to set up in the cemetery across the street so I wouldn't get run over - narrow road! What I REALLY remember learning was that did you know paint ON YOUR PALETTE will actually get extremely hard and start to freeze? I had to keep getting in the car and putting it under the heater vent to keep painting!

20: I painted my dog, bought veggies, used magazine covers and even...were those bears from a Coca Cola ad? Wizard Of Oz. Made up some others (requested by sister) and also started to copy some other artists and gave away as gifts (copyright laws - can't profit from others!)

23: Around this time I met my next boyfriend. He provided me with some interesting things to paint. He had a cabin, on some land in Blissfield, Michigan and sold deer hunts to "wanna be hunters". | When I was not working at IBM I was the "camp jack" cooking, tending the fires, flushing out deer, splitting firewood and became a pretty good tracker (Especially the bow hunters were poor shots and wouldn't have a clean kill. Off to the swamps...tracking...had to find them for the customers but I was more concerned about putting it out of it's misery. He actually did buy me an Ithica shotgun for squirrel hunting there but I couldn't ever pull the trigger. Fish, yes. But I never acquired the taste for shooting animals. I still don't. But, yes, I do eat beef and lamb and chickens, etc. Would prefer to buy it at the store though. | This was the cabin though and I was very happy just to sit and paint.

24: In September of 1993 I lost my job at IBM. I was devastated! After being there since 1977 I really did not want to go back to corporate life. I had always thought I would retire from there and then go to oil paint...become an artist at about 45 years old! Although I did have a collection of paintings I was not prepared at all to go SELL them. But....I did!!!! Bill had been just fine about me painting but was not prepared for me to go sell them either. He lost his Camp Jack! The second time I set up a booth he happened to come while a customer was buying a painting. The guy was trying to get a date of me...and probably just bought whatever it was to strike up the subject. Boyfriend was FURIOUS and stomped off. He never helped me set up nor break down and never came up to anywhere I was after that. I had to move on! I needed $$$!

25: I tried selling paintings at every weekend Chicken BBQ or ANY event they would allow vendors to set up! I had paintings selling, on consignment. Unfortunately one place went out of business and never did pay me a dime. Also kept a stash of about 25 paintings...doors locked. I joined a coop where with other arts & crafts folks and also had to WORK there as well as pay for space! I tried to build displays and build my inventory trying to get products and $$$$. ANYTHING that could be sold...I sure tried! Also got into the Fulton County Fair. Set up a booth right by the DIRT racetrack (I did not choose the space...got in due to a cancellation by another vendor then!)

27: I had been out to visit my Dad, a snowbird in Arizona. I got the WILD WEST fever! Most people would just take some photos. I, naturally, had to paint, road-side though! | Digital cameras still were not out and I wasn't really good about remembering to take photos of my work! I apologize for the poor camera work!

29: In August of 1995 I was down to my last $1,300 and NO CLUE as to what I was going to do. Life intervened. My eldest brother died. He worked for Dad's business in the Detroit area. He had everything on the computer and my Dad was in need of HELP! It was 89 miles, one way, to the shop. I could follow my brother pretty easily and so I commuted. Art was again put on the back burner. Well, I DID actually take down my watercolors when we went to Jamaica to scatter his ashes in Bloody Bay as was requested.

30: By winter of 1996 there was no way I was letting my Dad take off for Phoenix and leave me in Detroit. And so I rented a house out there. In 1997 I sold my house in Ohio. In 1998 LIFE intervened again! My Dad die in May. I was pretty busy handling the estate for the next year. | I was devastated by my Dad's death. By then he was my best friend, golf partner, mentor - about everything! Off to Mesa Marketplace I set up a booth. At least at a swap meet I could leave the set up there permanently and not have to travel all over the place. It's hard to pitch a tent and set up alone and it doesn't get any easier after 40! I had to be at the booth 3 days a week. It was month 13 that I finally made my booth space rental money. That was Enron Accounting though as it did not include any wages or food or gas or....anything else!

31: My ego could only take so much! Yes, I did accept some commissions. YIKES! People sure ask you to paint some very weird stuff! | For example, okay, you are FORCED into painting off school photos. This father gave me a dinky photo of his kid. Asked for a 36" X 36" blow up of it. Perfect space for it, he insisted. I show up to deliver it and he can see it from 400 yards! Yes, dear!!! It DOES look like a billboard! Let me measure it for you....YES...36" x 36" as instructed! | This one, requested by a wife for husband. Show horse. But wanted the Tetons in the background. Horses do not stand like this in a field! | Another wife request. Husband had a stroke and had been a boater. I don't know if he liked it....or being reminded of it "docked". Probably didn't match the memories in his mind of days gone by. | Certainly nothing I would like to include in my own personal portfolio!!! I was embarrassed by most "special requests" and probably should have just refused to do them.

32: My real estate agent in Ohio asked me to go paint the back of the neighboring school's athletic building that blocked her view. I never met her - ever. Was told by father to...paint a pond. Swans. Throw if some flowers. Then, add a bench. NO...told like one item at a time. NO composition...not what I would like to use in my portfolio either! | Oak Creek Canyon Sedona, AZ

33: After I gave up trying to make money at the outdoor swap meet in Mesa, Arizona I thought I would seek some more formal education again to improve my skills! It had been a while since I had any training. The 8 week class in Minnesota and following along on video tapes was great but...I wanted more! Off to Scottsdale Artist School I went! I blindly signed up for a class. One of the first questions the teacher asked was...anybody Plein Aire painters? I had to interrupt. I didn't know what that question meant although everybody seemed to know what he was asking. He looked at me, and said...."Outdoors. Painting on site." "OH! Heck yeah I am! I've been doing that for a couple of years now!" I said. Nobody had ever told me it was called something! Tom Haas was that instructor. I fell in love with his classes and his paintings! Studied with him I think over a year or so and also with another teacher. He taught me a ton of stuff! I even bought two of his paintings...that's how much I loved his work. I finally broke away from him. I was trying to copy him too much. I knew I had to find my own style...way. So I bought a place, OFF THE GRID, in the White Mountains. Thought it has great storage and lots of places to go paint in the wilderness. That it did! But I spent most of my time working on getting my solar/electricity functioning and plumbing and exterminating creatures! It was not exactly "Studio North" like I had envisioned! | I really had wanted a log cabin looking kind of ranch. Outside was brick though. So I just painted logs on the inside of it! Homesteading is another story though!

34: Glare a problem taking photos.... but here is one Tom Haas painting I had to get!!! Called "Quilted Farmwork". Not sure, I think Idaho he said he was at???!!! 16" x 20"

35: This photograph doesn't do this painting much justice either!!! Tom Haas painted this one.... Georgia O'Keiffe's ranch in New Mexico 54" X 71"

36: This is closer to how I prefer to work. Meaning...I went to the location. It was me to look and actually take the reference photo. Actually this was not the final version but you can get the drift! OLD SCHOOL! GO LOOK, artist. Then create! | This cowboy actually was the husband of the owner of the horse pictured above. YES, I went and shot the reference photo. Then painted this later in my studio. | This is his wife and that is the same horse as pictured above. I stopped working on the face...to be completed in the future pile! She really is a lot better looking than this!

37: This gal's father had actually asked me to do a LARGE painting of this. It's 4' x 5'. BIG! The photo was taken down in Tucson. She took the championship in barrel racing. I was given an 8" x 10" photo as a reference. I had insisted driving about 100 miles to go see the horse and the girl in person before I would agree to do it. Unfortunately I had broke my ankle though and it was not yet set! I was in a GREAT deal of pain taking those other photos! I'm not through with it yet though!

38: I couldn't afford a nice new door with glass...so I just painted the view I wanted! I continued to paint and paint and paint! I painted until my living room there looked just as crowded as the Phoenix house! | I still remembered to keep at it with the self portraits though! Actually this is the only one I did that I ever liked! At least I had a sense of humor about it this time!

39: Don't fall asleep at my place! I don't mind at all - I just get out my paints and take advantage of cheap "model"! | Here are some of the other ones I had done!!! Man did my teachers jump on me about them! Bad lighting, bad painting...NO RESEMBLENCE! They couldn't figure out if I had a self-esteem problem or a painting problem or both!!!! | YES! I really am serious! NO SHAME!!! (sorry, Ray, but you did have a nice nap!)

40: I did plenty of Plein Aire painting since 2000. These were just some of the ones I did in Scottsdale.

41: And I painted a lot of Plein Aire up at the ranch, too!

42: I think the dog, Sweet Pea approved it!

43: Thumbnails! Very hard to paint 3" X 5"!!! | Painting on walls again! After trip to Florida Keys!

44: Reference photo of... The Hornet!

45: Yes! I took the photo reference!

46: Big Sur 2011

48: Soon time to go sell again! Working on note cards and prints. Hopefully a web site soon. All sorts of things and subjects!!! | Last trip was to Paris, France! December 2011 Just beginning to begin AGAIN! Loved the prints in the hotel...had to try it out to learn! Watch for the influence in 2012!

49: Work in progress here...had to get some down before my memory fades!!!! And incorporated some of this in one of my own I am working hard on! (below) | Can you believe it? In Paris, I lost yet another boyfriend for the love of art. He couldn't believe that I went off alone to the Orsay Museum! Me? Not see ONE impressionism painting? GET REAL!!!!

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  • Title: Sally Anne Turner - Getting Creative (Copy)
  • How I started to oil paint
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  • Published: almost 8 years ago