My Evolution as an Artist
I am Rene Griffith and I am delighted to welcome you to my online art gallery. As an artist living and working in Florida's central east coast. I share with you my evolution as an artist.
I was born in Panama and grew up in Florida. My mother was also Panamanian and my father an American military man from Arkansas. I am the third child of 8 children. From a very early age I loved to draw and color but the only paper I had available was the unprinted edges of my dad's day-old newspapers. My interest in the visual arts of drawing, painting, and photography continued through my early teens, and I sold my first watercolor painting of a pelican for $5. That spurred on my dream of becoming an artist. Like many young women of my generation, my parents encouraged me to become a wife and mother. My father told me artists can't make a living selling their art so I followed the expectations of my parents and society and did just that. Still, something inside me wanted more.
After a 13-year marriage and 3 children, I divorced and worked for the local phone company climbing telephone poles and installing phones by day and going to college part time after work. It took 10 years of night school to receive my Bachelor's degree. I then left the phone company and began working as a technical writer for a hi-tech company and working on my Master's degree. Another 5 years passed with me working on a computer. I still longed for a life of creativity where I could "splash paint" around. Then life gave me an opportunity to move to San Francisco, the city of artists, in the 1990’s and I took it. Finally, I could pursue, in earnest, my lifelong dream of becoming a professional artist.
It was a difficult time for me financially and emotionally. I realized becoming an artist would take many more years of learning to draw and paint, plus time spent alone working in my art studio. My passion, perseverance, and hard work finally paid off with my first solo show in the city and my first art gallery sale!
Living in San Francisco was a turning point for me. I saw artists being acknowledged for their work, making a living selling their artwork, and living a creative life. My world grew exponentially by meeting famous photographers Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, and Ruth Bernhard. I questioned myself: Had I finally arrived to be able to call myself an artist?
Today, after much soul searching, I found that following your dream, rather than the expectations of others, is the way to create a happy and successful life in art or in any joyful endeavor. If others too, followed their dreams wouldn't the whole world be a happier and better place?
Now in my studio, I continue to learn, explore, and paint daily. I paint abstracts and mixed-media works. My hopes are they capture the essence of places I have ventured, tell my stories, share my memories, and convey my thoughts and feelings on canvas. If some of my artwork resonates with you, makes you feel something or makes you think, brings back memories, puts a smile on your face, and brings you joy, I have accomplished my goal!