Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Divine Answer to Artist’s Dream!

Profile of: Connie Logan,
based upon interview by Mel. Edwards, for the Votre Vray project

If you live in Greensboro, NC, you might know the matriarch of painters, Connie Logan. Founder of Artstock, a local art tour now in its 11th year (with tours taking place in October), mother of three, and painting teacher of several local artists, Logan is a powerhouse not to be equaled.

Some may find it cliché, but Logan credits G-d where credit is due, including, telling her “Now is not your time,” when she first began to ask, “When do I get to do what I want?” when she ached to create instead of sitting on floor playing Legos with her sons.

1987, she took her sons to a Lenten service where the priest told the congregation, “If you want to identify with Christ in a small way, give something up for Lent.” She gave up television, and while she sat in a room apart from her then-husband, so he could watch TV, she prayed for strength and asked what to do with herself. She distinctly heard G-d say that her time had come. So she began painting two hours a day, and hasn’t looked back since.

She advises, “If you’re going to be a writer, write. If you’re going to be a painter, paint. Build a body of work.” By 1993 she had done just that, and while living in Budapest, due to her husband’s job, she not only flourished in her creation of works that honored her new home, but she gained a rare opportunity to have a showing at the Budapest National Opera House! “People came in tuxes, and I hired a quartet to play on the marble landing, with a gilded entrance. I had 35 pieces in that show.” It was a defining moment that changed her life.

When she returned to the States, her marriage ended and against the advice of “everyone” especially those who said she “couldn’t” do it, she had a studio built in her own back yard. She gave the workers all her savings and said, “This if for labor, and this is my credit card to (this building company) and when that maxes out, I have one to this building company.” In the end it took four credit cards and plenty of negotiating rates, and transferring balances, to created a studio $40,000. Due to her savvy, Logan paid no interest and the debt was gone within a year.

Although she continually teaches and encourages others, she also keeps balance by painting (or doing art- related tasks) daily. Logan states, “Follow your passion, what you truly believe in, even if you’re not good at it. You just require the desire.” She says she’s worked with several painters and taught them the techniques, the concrete side of painting, and their passion and commitment has carried them forward until they became good at it. Logan says painting gives her a stronger sense of self, and she believes everyone wants to know their purpose in life. Painting helps her identify with the Creator, as creating any art can do.

Logan is no longer scared to put herself and her work out there, and that she “really can’t” envision herself doing anything else. “This IS what I envisioned,” she states, adding, “Money isn’t what is going to motivate an artist. Self-fulfillment is.” She should know, as do her sons, and her students.

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