This was a class assignment to illustrate my thought process on my journey in art…. or atleast that is what I thought she wanted!
Mind Map Nancy Munier ARA 240 August 29,2021
My mind has had many years to travel and see great art. At birth, I was gifted two oil paintings from the artist, Wm. Thon. (he had a crush on my mother) I still have those paintings, very dark landscapes, and not his typical sailing work. (painting is “Snowy Woods by Wm Thon 1948)
I grew up with very artistic but not recognized artists at home and in the local area. At around eight years (I have little memory of much time), A friend of my mother, Helen Ord, did a bust of me. It was agony! I had to sit, and I hated being still for two hours every day for a week as the artist sculpted clay and measured my nose with massive calipers! The bust is long gone, but I do have one of her oil paintings still. I wanted to paint but was only given cheap chalk and paper. My mother said it was because I wasn’t good enough to use watercolors. Years later, I found out it was because we didn’t have the money for fancy stuff. I often got in trouble at school, especially elementary, for drawing horses in my notebooks! Yes, I still draw, and now in school, it is expected. I have some of my early crayon drawings of horses which I hope to work into some sculpture pieces. It was also during these young years we visited the Ringling Art Museum in Sarasota, Florida. The statue of David was only one of several statues I sketched there.
School years gone, I moved to Wyoming and continued to sketch and draw and write. I am glad I did since I now can look back and see themes beginning to appear in my work, primarily trees. But then, college and marriage and a little girl came into life. She was drawing before she could walk, and only once on the wall of our apartment. (military housing hates anything on the walls!)
We were fortunate enough to travel to and live in Europe, so family time was well spent finding art museums. My husband was also a lover of art. The most profound art exhibit was at Checkpoint Charley in Berlin. We were there when the wall was being torn down and got to visit the museum. My ten-year-old daughter walked out of the museum, saying it was the most moving thing she had ever experience. Today she still stands by that statement. The art of the people was horrible and beautiful at the same time. A bit later, on a trip to Paris, we saw a Monet and Roden exhibit. Outside in the park, there is the statue of The Thinker. I prepared to take a photo of my family by the monument, and my husband leans on the sculpture, daughter on the top edge of the base. I tell them, “That is Roden’s grave. He was buried under that statue”. They both freaked out! (This information is on the sign in front of the statue.)
Back home in Wyoming, I spent happy hours sketching on the University of Wyoming campus…usually under the bronze of T-Rex outside the Geology building. The Lincon Monument on me 80 between Cheyenne and Laramie is massive and looks like a rooster when approaching from Cheyenne.
A brief time at Southern Utah University gave me the chance to study art formally. And a three-week trip back to London with a group of students left me in awe of the city’s architecture. I had been in London in 1991 while traveling in Great Britain, and the skyline had changed. I took many photos of old and new buildings side by side. I also filled two sketchbooks and saw great plays every night for ten days. Then, I attended a Gold Work class at The Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court for the last three days. That was a high point in my textile studies.
I am here in Arizona studying sculpture after a short bit of textiles and getting my second Bachelor’s degree. From here, but staying in Arizona, I am not sure where life will take me. Art gives me so many options. I am currently working out of my garage and hoping to find a small studio space in Apache Junction. I hope to do some work with museums, possibly doing dioramas of the floor plans in miniature settings. Life will tell.
This last photo is of a challenge piece of stitchery I did for an exhibit at The San Franciso School of Needlework and Design. The title is Jewels Benithe the Sea and required the use of 50 Swarzki Crystals and needlework. The canvas is hand-painted, and many of the coral bits are ones I found as a child in Florida.