Today we’d like to introduce you to B.J. Lane.
B.J., we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
In 1956, I was born into a typical lower middle class 1950’s family. When I was four-years-old, we left the Midwest and settled in Phoenix Arizona, where I would spend my childhood years. Neither parents were artists, and the only person accredited with talent in my entire family’s history was my grandfather—who at one time was known for his whittling. I never knew about his artistic side until much later in my life. After I was claimed to have “talent” by the family, I was told that I must have received my skills from him. My grandfather gave up his budding art career when he got married.
“Art is not for a family man.”
“I will whittle no more.”
“I will be a farmer.”
At seven-years-old, Art finally came knocking at my door… a shy girl, a new school, a rowdy class of second graders, a boy who got his mouth washed out with soap for saying “bad words”, and a teacher who finally got the class redirected by focusing on “show and tell.” The first student stood in front of the class and presented. She talked about having “private art lessons” and presented her painting—an image of a roadrunner on a piece of driftwood. She closed her short speech by asking for the sale. One dime and the painting was mine. At seven-years-old, I was an art collector. I knew then what I wanted to be when I grew up. A whole new world opened and my artful journey began.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The first lesson I had in making art was from my dad. As a young child, I truly believed my father knew EVERYTHING. Despite his insistence that he “didn’t know how to draw”, one day, he finally sat down with me and on a scrap piece of paper, he showed me how to draw a simple box and how to make it look like a house. He sat patiently beside me as I tried to replicate his simple geometry. Windows, a roof, a chimney and finally a porch and stairs leading to the front door. When I asked him how to draw a tree in the scene, he abruptly grumbled:
“Go ask your mother.”
My mother told me she didn’t know how to help but maybe I should …
“Go look at a tree.”
This was the best piece of advice she could have given me—look at the world.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
“Maybe she needs a pair of glasses.”
Over fifty-five years of putting my claim on the title “Artist” my bifocals have served me well. I observe. I watch the movement of the people around me, their faces, their emotions. I see perspective in freeway lanes and traffic, the shape of cars, and the reflection of light. I find the underlying beauty in buildings, power polls, and crosswalks. The pavement calls out for me to paint the cracks. The rain makes me stop and see the colors in the water.
“Remove those spectacles.”
“So Soft—the blur of shapes.”
“So simple—no detail.”
But complications arise… and we choose our path.
The beautiful child looks up from her focused play to stare at the camera. She squeals. She throws her toy. She lines the toys up in a row. She cares not for the people around her, she elopes, she delves deeply into her own world. Married with three daughters, I knew something was different with my third child. My art began to be cloudy. My world boxed in. Autism awareness became me. Art began to scream with rebellion.
“Art MUST live in the mother’s heart “
“The mother MUST live an artful journey”
“Without art, my heart will die”
For 20 years, I became a closet Artist. A secret Artist working in a sacred room I called my studio. For 20 years, my work was not displayed in galleries, submitted to juried shows or displayed in public. Instead, I learned a different medium and played. Art became my children. Family became my Art. My life. My experiences.
“Where your focus goes your energy flows and so goes the direction of your life.”
“And she emerged from the closet.”
2008 brought change. A chance to emerge. A chance to step out of Pandora’s box. Gallery shows, Museum Collections, Exhibitions, and Demonstrations. My artwork found its way out in the world. I create beauty out of dirt. Color out of pigment. Peace out of chaos. I search for beauty in the mundane. I stop and look around me. I share my gifts. I connect.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
Struggling is a fact of life. The baby struggles to be born. The toddler struggles to learn to walk. As adults, we struggle to make something of ourselves, our life, our Art. Most artists struggle. We struggle to find time to create. We struggle to get financial support to fund what we need to create. We struggle to show what we have created. We all struggle to be successful. But what does success really mean? I believe success comes from within. Choose what is important to YOU. Is it money? Is it fame? Is it time to create? Is it sharing your work with others? Know what you want and understand what you may have to give up. Then, take small, daily steps toward your goals.
Learn! Learn! Learn!
Calendar what you should do. Keep on track. Don’t get distracted. Just do the work! Do the work! Do the Work!
WORK! WORK! WORK!
Be brave. Everyone gets scared. Push on. Do something that scares you every day. Fall down and get up! Read books. Find someone better than you. Check out: “It Couldn’t be Done” by Edgar E. Guest. If you don’t know what to do … Look it up on the internet! The world is an open playing field. There are opportunities if you look.
DON’T GIVE UP! DON’T GIVE UP! DON’T GIVE UP!
LEARN and GROW!
Eat healthy, exercise. Nothing is worse than having big dreams and not being able to follow them because you haven’t taken care of your body.
Get better every day. Improve your skills, your health, and your personal life. Love. Connect with others. Give of yourself. Life is truly a miracle. And in the end, what is success?
I truly believe Success is Loving your Life.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I currently have over 20 original paintings on display at Fallbrook’s Village News, 111 W Alvarado Street, Fallbrook, CA 92028. This exhibit can be viewed during regular business hours, and/or private tours can be arranged if you contact me directly. For serious collectors, I also offer studio tours. The Inland Empire Museum of Art (located in Upland, California) also has several of my pieces. This museum is well worth checking out, as they have over 200 pieces from over a hundred artists both current and past. They offer free Art Talks monthly along with fresh new exhibitions. http://www.iearts.org/index.htm
Because I love to support my community, I’ve also been involved with the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce. In 2018 I was a demonstrator for their Wine and a Bite Art Walks. Businesses open their doors and offer food and wine tasting, plus a sweet peek at community artists. It’s a fun event to get to learn about local Art, local food and wineries, and community. I plan to continue supporting this event. Maybe I’ll see some of your readers there in the Spring!
You never know where my art will be … As a member of the Fallbrook Chapter of AAUW (American Association of University women) I have created several famous women sculpted-portraits which occasionally make their ghostly appearance in the Community. Madame Curie, and Laura Scudder were on display at the Fallbrook Scarecrow Day’s event in October 2018. The New Year began with a sculpted portrait of Elizabeth Cady Stanton—which will be presented at this month’s meeting of AAUW. Others who have stood in the shadows of yesterday are Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, and Frieda Kahlo. I’m positive they will be making their reappearance very soon.
Probably the best way to keep up on all the events I get involved with, is by signing up for my “Art and Newsletter” which is sent out monthly, and/or by following me on Facebook or Instagram. I’m even tweeting a bit and post my blogs on Linked-In as well. When you sign up for my newsletters, you’ll be informed where my art can be found during the year—Gallery Shows, Demonstrations, Museum Exhibitions, and Public Art Popups. If you want to keep connected, just email me and asked to be placed on my mailing list.
And as far as how to support me and my art? If I could talk directly to your readers, I would say: “Let Art speak to you. Listen to what your heart says. Take a look at my website: https://www.bjlaneartgallery.com/ If the work I create resonates with you, I am here for you. Let me give you my gifts. Purchase a piece of Original Art. Recently I opened a Gallery Store on my website which offers Artists Prints, Artful Coffee Cups, Artie Totes, colorful Phone Covers, and more: https://bj-lane.pixels.com Fun designs and special gifts are available.
Or … let me create something special for you or your business. I offer private and public commissions. You have the idea? Let me help you create it!
How else can you support my work? By supporting other local Artists. Go out and check out local Art! Buy some. Love it. Embrace the creativity and be a little creative yourself! There is a whole new world waiting for you!”
- Address: B.J. Lane
855 South Main Ave., Ste K#346
Fallbrook, CA 92028
- Website: www.bjlaneartgallery.com
- Phone: 760-728-1506
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @Bjartworks
- Facebook: Bjartworks-Art by Bjlane
- Twitter: @Bjartworks
- Other: https://bj-lane.pixels.com