Abstracts by Beja
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As a self-taught artist, I came to the visual artists via a circuitous route. My first love was music, followed by theatre. When I discovered the excitement of creating images on canvas where there had been nothing, painting and the visual arts became my obsession.
Remembering what I had read, that self-taught does not mean less-taught, I pursued my new interest with a passion. In an effort to understand, I studied art history books, "how-to" books by contemporary artists and writings by Kandinsky and others. I totally embraced Kandinsky's philosopy "Concerning the Spiritual in Art", and felt that many of his words came straight from my heart. His believe that art should have its own language, just as music does, and O'Keefe's words that "no one can teach you to do your art...they can only teach you to do theirs" seemed not only inspiring, but empowering.
I believe as artists, it is our responsibility to not merely indulge in the self-satisfaction of "expressing ourselves", but to further the growth of art - to stand on what has gone before, and have the courage to add what we glean from living today. With all other ways of communicating changing and advancing, why should art be stuck in the past...must we go on reproducing images that lie before us, or shall we look beyond the surface to seek the essence of things? I do not presume to understand that language of art that Kandinsky believed in, but I feel it is incumbent upon us to try.
I am a signature member of the National League of American Pen Women. While living in Connecticut from 1986 to 1995, I held membership in the Canton Artists' Guild, Kent Art Association and Avon Arts Association where I served as President from 1992-1994. In 1995, I qualified for membership into the Connecticut Watercolor Society. Currently, I divide my time between Eugene, OR and Northwest AR.
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