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Elenor Cott Memorial

Autobiography by EEKC

 

For me the arts are neither an occupation or a hobby, it is my way of looking at life.  It is the way I look at nature, the way I hear sounds, and the way I feel when touching an object.  I cannot remember when art was not a reality even though my parents did not express themselves openly in this way;  perhaps because those were depression years and their life was work from rising to retiring.  My only sister was already in school when I was born so my preschool years were spent entertaining myself.  The basic requirements, which were always in short supply, were paper, crayons or other drawing materials.  For me, the sky was always blue, the grass always green, and I colored inside the lines.  This was my discipline for more than half my life.

     I attended a one room school for the first four years.  Because I lived a mile from school and any classmates, I had a limited social life.  I managed to inject my art work into any assignment whenever it was possible.  I then moved to Martin Street School for two years and I was still the odd man out because the bus dropped me off and picked me up while my classmates went off to play after school.  So my life’s pattern remained the same.  For the seventh grade I was moved to the high school and life changed dramatically.  I took violin lessons and played in the orchestra.  I was in the church choir and was now old enough to miss the bus ride home.  I did the clip art (free hand) for the church news paper for three years.   I became a part of the church social life.  I took every art class and included mechanical drawing.  My art teacher encouraged me to enter the scholastic art contest with the first prize being an art scholarship.  I won a Gold Scholastic Key at the NY state level for my painting.  Then it was entered in the national competition, but a win for the scholarship was not to be.

     Going to college to study art was more than out of the question, so two weeks after graduation I entered the world of hourly workers as a draftsman.  The best of this was it made it possible for me to get my driver’s license and have my own car.  I joined a local art group. I completed a course in Commercial Art, studying evenings.  After the art course, I completed a course in interior decorating.  I took a leave of absence from work to study silver-smithing to further my interest in jewelry making.  I had been making copper enameled jewelry and selling it at a gift shop in Olean.  After the silver- smithing adventure I returned to my previous work because I was unable to justify trying to make a living selling jewelry in Wellsville.  With a paying job, I had ample funds to do art work and my other hobbies.

     After my husband and I retired we traveled extensively and I was able to create a large portfolio of pictures to paint as time permitted.  Twelve years ago our travel ended abruptly when only two weeks after returning from Greece my husband died.

     Art again became my refuge to cope with loneliness.  To broaden my perspective I started to go to art workshops which included well known instructors such as Terry Madden, Tom Lynch, Don Getz, Lian Quan Zhen, Harry Thompson and Tom O’Grady.

     I am trying to leave the precise presentation of art work to the camera and change my discipline to a more expressive and thoughtful way.  I want to lead the viewer to see and feel what I felt while I was painting.  Even if the viewer does not have the same experience as I did my hope is that they have their own thought fulfilling impressions of what they see.

 

Pictures at http://kakruger.tumblr.com/EEKCMemorial

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