ARTIST OF THE MONTH - DECEMBER 2017
Catherine Taron is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, both with the Nanaimo and Victoria chapters. When asked to reflect on her artist’s journey, she said:
Doesn’t everyone want to be an artist? You know, either as a fleeting thought or, on a deeper level, as a fundamental knowingness when you were a child? Some pursue it, some don’t and some wait, thinking there’s lots of time to pursue it later. My feeling is it’s never too late to start but don’t wait too long (for reasons I’ll share in a moment)!
When I was in first grade, a classmate asked me to draw a bear in her half-and-half scribbler—did you have those, where you drew a picture at the top and wrote a related ‘story’ underneath? I remember being surprised she didn’t just draw it herself. That’s when I realized not everyone had my ease and compulsion to draw. I’ve always loved to draw! I drew on everything, everywhere, anytime. As a small child, I even drew all over the underside of our kitchen table while surreptitiously listening to adult conversations. I drew over the pictures in magazines, outlining shapes and delineating colour shifts, especially in faces. Do you remember the Breck girls? They were shampoo ads featuring beautiful pastel paintings of wholesome girls with great hair. By drawing over them, I was trying to discover the secret of their creation. And I learned a lot!
Thankfully, my parents fed my creative habit with cast-off pencil stubs from my dad’s office and white cardboard inserts from my mom’s nylon-stocking packages. In a big family, there wasn’t money to buy ‘real’ art supplies much beyond wax crayons. One day, still a pre-schooler, I decided to beautify my bedroom by tearing off large patches of wallpaper, randomly from floor to ceiling, and with my crayons turned each revealed patch into dragons, princesses and other fantasy beings. It was truly wonderful in my eyes. Alas, my mother did not share this joy! She did, however, frame and hang some of my child art, which was powerfully affirming to me as a budding artist.
In fact, I’ve always self-identified as an artist but, beyond high-school, I was encouraged instead to pursue more “serious” ambitions. I put art aside to become a mother and to ‘work’ for a living, only occasionally letting a drawing or painting into my busy, more “responsible” life. It was not until I realized, through the early deaths of some workplace colleagues, that life is actually quite short; I knew I must change course and follow my calling, as risky as that seemed. I left my job, taking an early retirement, and now paint fulltime, work with enthusiasm, and always have some creative project percolating in my brain. While I consider myself a late starter, everyplace I’ve lived and every seemingly unrelated tangent I’ve taken has contributed positively to my art. I love the feeling of continuous learning, taking artistic risks and overcoming the inevitable challenges—I wouldn’t want it any other way!
You can read more about Catherine’s journey and her inspiration at: www.catherinetaron.ca
She also invites you to follow her Catherine Taron Art page at: www.facebook.com/CatherineTaronArt, where she shares new work and works-in-progress, among other of her art-related activities.
Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org