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Artist: Pablo Dominguez Jr.
Graciela Dominguez Underwood
Memories of my father coming home from work, then painting signs, portraits or landscapes come to my mind. Memories of our father setting up still life’s or having one of us reluctantly sit for him to sketch.
My father once explained that my great-uncle Fermin also painted and asked my father’s assistance on painting the hands for a piece. As a child, I found a crayon colored drawing with my name on it, hung in my mother’s closet. My sister Gloria took art classes in junior high, so, I wanted to take them too. I often asked my father’s advice about drawing or projects.
Classes gave me the chance to use various media. My art teacher Mrs. Levine helped me to attend a summer program at the Cranbrook Art Institute. A teacher in high school helped me to get a college art scholarship. I did not major in art at college, just took several art classes. For a short period, as my father before me, I did portraits from photos, with carbon pencil rather than oils. I have taken summer watercolor classes. I have volunteered at art galleries. I have met wonderful working artists.
I like abstract qualities, the challenge of conveying emotional messages and mixed media. I enjoy capturing the beauty expressed in this creation.
Most recently, I have been doing miniature art on a personal basis. Others would call them cards. This allows me to do a variety of ideas in a limited time. Also, I have been doing more crocheting as my mother’s work in crochet inspires me to express ideas in that media. Broken promises to create on a daily basis have played their role. Yet, I know that art is an integral part of my being. I will always be thankful to teachers, mentors, friends, and family for their encouragement.
I am grateful that my artistic spirit has been supported by my parents and family from the earliest memories I can recall. Even when in college, I sweat with anxiety about telling my parents I wanted to transfer from the college of engineering to the school of art and design, their understanding faces said “what took you so long?”
It’s been a challenging relationship with art, learning to understand the ebb and flow of inspiration and expression. Suffering through semesters in school lacking in motivation or inspiration, viewing artistic creativity as a nuisance and ignoring the call to create. I considered art-making a luxury, and let the practice slip. What I didn’t realize was that stifling the artistic creativity was a disservice to my self and to my spirit.
A class about money management changed it all. A central string of exercises called for drawing, first how you felt about your current relationship and then a drawing about how you wish for your relationship with that aspect of money to be. Luna, the instructor, showed that your creativity is an asset in all your relationships, even one that is challenging to many artists: money management.
I had never imagined that my relationship with money could be healed through drawing (and some no-nonsense instruction and exercises throughout her in-progress book). The weekly practice of homework and drawing awoke the stifled creativity I had left for dead in that most difficult last semester of college. Allowing the creativity to surface and being kind to myself throughout the process is a gift I will never give back, and one I strive to appreciate and cultivate.
An unexpected bonus came when Luna asked me to join her illustration team, and a long-time deeply buried dream of illustrating a book is in progress!
[I also sew utility rolls for your art supplies:etsy.com/shop/BundleandStow ]