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About

Visionary Surrealist. Abstract Expressionist. Writer - prose, poetry. Born in USA. Came to Oz 2000. On YellowBrick Road. Creative Works My Diary.

I have an Older Blog also called ieyeofthestorm.blogspot.com that has some of my Older Artworks, Photos, Prose and Poetry I've Written. This Older Blog is malfunctioning a bit. Some of My Earlier Photos have mysteriously disappeared. Doesn't look as Nice when I first started it. Will be hiring a Computer Wizard Of Oz to help me "redesign" this Page, when I can afford to.

Also Have a Webpage on the Loop called "Flower Queen Entertainment"... when I was Teaching Arts and Crafts Workshops to Children (and Adults) and Doing Face-Paintings for Children.

Born 19 Oct 1956 in Seminole, OK, USA... A Rural Country Town. Into a Time, Place and Family... "When and Where" Female Artists were not taken Seriously, were Rarely Creatively Nurtured, hardly ever received Specialised Arts Training. My Father actively opposed me "becoming" an Artist. My Mother secretly encouraged me to Explore and Develop my Creative Gifts from a very Early Age.

Began DRAWING Realistic, Shaded Portraits at age 4 1/2. No one taught me how to DRAW. Just REALISED I COULD One Day.
At Age 9, Received Private Lessons from Artist, Macy Sirois in Abilene, TX, US for 8 Saturdays. She TAUGHT me how to USE Pencil, Charcoal, Pen & Ink, Chalk Pastels, Watercolours, Oil Crayons and Finished my 1st Oil Painting by the end of the 8th Sat. We moved again. My Father refused to pay for any more Art Lessons. Believed them to be a waste of Time and Money.

Also Proficient in Paper Crafts, and other Types of Crafts. I've been making Paper Flowers and Paper Snowflakes since I was 4 years old. Also Collage, Decoupage, Papier Mache. Have worked with Clay, Created Mosaics with Mixed Materials, Designed and Created Wall and Window Murals. Learned Embroidery at Age 5. Learned Knitting at Age 9. Have been practising Photography since I was a Girl. Enjoy working with Mixed Mediums and Found Objects.

Married 4 Times... Divorced Twice.
WIDOWED 21 Jul 1999 - My BELOVED 2nd Husband, Steven Craig Minsky. He was 43, I was 42.
WIDOWED 06 Aug 2016 - My BELOVED 4th Husband, John Frederick Hull. He was 69, I was 59.

I've created Art Works under the Names: Becky Jo Blanton (Maiden Name), Becky Jo Summers (1st Marriage), B.J. Summers (after 1st Divorce), Becky Jo Minsky (2nd Marriage and also after 1st Time Widowed), BJM - Christmas Designs (2nd Marriage), Becky Jo Minsky aka Hull (4th Marriage), Becky Jo Hull aka Minsky (4th Marriage), Becky Jo Hull (after 2nd Time Widowed), BJH - Christmas Designs (after 2nd Time Widowed)

Over the course of my Lifetime... I've LEARNED there are a lot of Common Misperceptions about what an Artist IS and "IS Not"... what We CAN and Cannot DO... what is ART and what is Not, among other Members of Society that I've just met and/or KNOW WELL. I've often been told... "I don't know much about Art, but I know what I LIKE/LOVE." That is when I say "KNOWING what you LIKE/LOVE is all you NEED TO KNOW." In our "Modern Times", most People have been socially conditioned to Ignore their INSTINCTS and Gut REACTIONS. Their "Perceptual Filters" have been "Tampered With", are often "Distorted", "Corrupted" and/or "Perverted". So much so, They often don't TRUST what Their own SENSES tell Them about this World we LIVE in, or about Themselves. Have been TAUGHT to defer to a "Higher Authority" to THINK for Them, instead of THINKING for Themselves, and having the COURAGE to ACT upon Their Own BELIEFS, and INTUITIVE KNOWLEDGE. When it comes to ACCEPTING "New" Forms and EXPRESSIONS of ARTWORKS CREATED BY "EMERGING ARTISTS"... "SOMETHING DIFFERENT"... They often hesitate to EMBRACE CHANGE. Someone once said, "It is Human Nature to Fear what We don't UNDERSTAND, and to Hate what We Fear." ARTISTS throughout the existence of Our Species, have USED whatever Materials and Tools We have FOUND, and/or can MAKE, and/or have been GIVEN, and are AVAILABLE to Us... with which to CREATIVELY EXPRESS OUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, EXPERIENCES, and PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS of WHATEVER WE DEEM TO BE OF INTRINSIC "VALUE". ANY Materials and/or Tools We may USE for CREATIVE EXPRESSION, CAN BE A VALID ARTISTIC MEDIUM IF IMBUED WITH CREATIVE SPIRIT AND MEANING. Including Digital Photography, along with ANYTHING ELSE that We THINK is SUITABLE TO USE. Just so you KNOW... "CRAFTS" are also, often actually FINE ART in "Disguise".

As far as buying and collecting ART is concerned... don't buy it because Someone Else tells you it is ART. Buy it because it MAKES you FEEL MORE ALIVE... SPARKS YOUR IMAGINATION... MAKES YOU THINK about LIFE, the INTRINSIC NATURE OF REALITY as you PERCEIVE IT TO BE, and "Your Place" in the Overall "Scheme Of Things". Buy it because it TRIGGERS Something DEEP INSIDE YOU that you AGREE WITH, IDENTIFY WITH, and CHERISH... that RESONATES WITHIN YOUR SOUL. Like RINGING a BELL, which ECHOES through the Silence, through TIME... THROUGH ALL THAT YOU WERE, ARE, and THINK YOU WILL EVER BE. REAL ART IS FROM THE HEART... IS "SOUL FOOD"... "FOOD FOR THOUGHT". REAL ART IS A CATALYST, A "MAGIC MIRROR" AND A "WINDOW" TO YOUR DREAMS AND "OURS". REAL ART SHINES THROUGH YOUR INNER "DARKNESS" like the SUN, MOON, STARS, FIREWORKS... IS A "BEACON" IN THE "LONG, DARK NIGHT OF YOUR SOUL"... LIKE A LIT CANDLE, GLOWING IN A WINDOW, GUIDING YOU HOME at the End of a Long, Harrowing JOURNEY to Hell and Back Again. - Becky

Education

Univ of Sydney College of Fine Arts (my 3rd & Final Attempt to attain my long-delayed Bachelor Of Visual Arts Degree.)
Began attending classes 06 Mar 2017
Forced to withdraw from my classes on 31 Mar 2017 - Due to lack of available funding, grants or scholarships. If I hadn't withdrawn by the Census Date, I would have been locked out of my classes until I was able to pay my tuition and fees... AND would have been legally bound to pay for a full year's tuition and fees that I could't afford, for an education I was unable to receive. That is the way the law "works" and that is the way University is set up. Equity scholarships for the Disadvantaged, are a popular social myth and nothing more. Otherwise, I would have received the badly needed funding I sought and applied for.

But I learned something very valuable in those three weeks. That was all the time I needed to learn everything they could teach me. That I am an Avant Garde Artist. Always have been, always will be. That the Avant-Garde are the Ones who have the vision, courage and creativity to change the Art World, and affect the future development of Humanity in unexpected ways. That I am in Good Company. En Garde!!!

I also learned that the finest Contemporary Art Critics, Artists and Philosophers believe that the Contemporary "Now" is essentially an "Exercise in Futility", a "Waste of Time" and filled with Facades that mask Worthless Things. All true. I already knew this from personal experience. This was often the essential theme of many of the Challenges I've fought to overcome in my Lifetime. But what "They" seem to fail to realise... is that this "Now" that we all share, doesn't have to be This Way. We have a Choice. We have the inherent right to REFUSE to accept this stale and stagnant, worthless "Now". That in the very act of consciously REFUSING the "Current Now"... we make it possible for a different and "Better Now" to exist, to become. Because Nature abhors a vaccuum. "She" will fill a "vacancy", if we don't. It's a difference between having a shabby looking, depressing garden full of weeds... or a well-designed, attractive weeded garden. Our Choices make ALL the Difference in the World.

Studied Commercial Art and Graphic Arts 1986 - 1987
Pike's Peak Community College - Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Cumulative Grade Point Average: 3.636 ( Solid "B+" Average )
Total Quality Hours Achieved: 66

Subjects Studied: Studio Techniques, Drawing, Design, Advanced Design, Media & Illustration, Advanced Drawing, Ceramics 1, Layout, Copy Preparation & Paste-Up, Process Camera Line Photography, Lithography Press Operations 1, Photo Stripping & Plate-Making, Bindery Procedures, Illustration Studio 1, Illustration Studio 2, Process Camera Halftone Photography, Commercial Photography For Graphic Students

High School Graduate - 1974
Norman Senior High Schoo - Norman, OK, USA
Cumulative Grade Point Average : 3.23 (solid "B" average)
Class Rank: #210 in a Class of 621 (graduated in upper third of my class)
Subjects Studied: Art. Art History. Psychology. Social Sciences. English. Botany. Physics. Anthropology. Earth Sciences. Mythology. Philosophy. Home Economics. Typing. Spanish. Creative Writing. Algebra. Trigonometry. Yearbook. Driver's Education.

At age 9, I was fortunate enough to have Private Art Lessons for a "Short Time", with a local neighbourhood Artist named Macy Sirois. My Family had just moved to a New House in a Nice Neighbourhood for a change. Still living in Abilene, TX. My new girlfriend and Playmate Next Door told me about Macy. That She was offering private lessons in her Home, in Her Garage that had been converted into Her Art Studio. Oh My God!!! I tried to Imagine what an Art Studio looked like. It was all I could think about.

I started drawing realistic, shaded portraits at age 4 1/2. No one taught me how. I just Realised I could Draw one day, and felt the Overwhelming Urge to do so. I drew several portraits That Day, using interesting photos I had chanced to find, in an old set of b/w encyclopedia books I had been looking through, as my "Models". Couldn't read very well yet... but I liked to look at the Pictures. I drew for so long, I finally had to stop. Because my hand was cramping so bad, I couldn't hold my pencil anymore. Hurt too much. Couldn't even open my hand for a while afterwards. When I finished... I surveyed my Work. Satisfied that my Drawings were perfect replicas of what I saw, only larger... I proudly took my Creations and showed Grandma. I was staying with my Grandparents for an extended Visit, while my Parents were preparing to move our Belongings across the Country. From the Island We lived on in Puget Sound, near Seattle, WA, USA... to Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene, TX, USA. But when Grandma saw my Drawings, she just laughed, put my Drawings away, and told me to go outside and play. My Family came from a "Humble" Country background. There were no "Recognised Artists" in Our Family, on either side as far back as Anyone could remember. No one understood the importance of providing me with specialised Arts Training when I began showing Strong Signs of Talent at such a young age. Our Family moved around a lot as I was growing up. My Dad was in the Army until I was about 8 years old. Then He went into Sales. He uprooted Our Family whenever he was convinced the "Grass Was Greener" Somewhere Else. Which meant every Time we moved... I was usually enrolled late into my Newest School, and if they even offered any Art Classes there... they were usually already full. It was terribly disappointing for me. I continued to work on my Art on my own of course. I had to. But by the Time I learned there was an Artist living close by... I was STARVING for Arts Instruction. My Father didn't want me to "Be an Artist". When I was young and creating "Things", he tolerated it, because he was hoping I would "grow out of it", like most children do. But to his consternation and growing irritation, I didn't. When I asked him to let me take those Private Art Lessons... he said they were a waste of time and money. He said "NO' and meant it. Which meant if I asked again, I risked getting whipped with his belt. I begged Him for those Art Lessons, Day and Night, for two weeks straight before He finally relented. I'm sure my Mother helped talk him into it. She was the only one who encouraged and nurtured my Artistic Spirit. As much as She could considering Her Circumstances. When my Parents took me to meet Macy for the First Time, She had me draw something out of my imagination. I drew a guy working on the engine of his car. She told My Parents she would teach me how to draw in pencil, colour pencils, pen & inks, chalk pastels, oil crayons... that she would teach me how to paint with watercolours and oils. That I would attend a Class every Saturday morning... and I would finish my First Oil Painting by the end of my second year of taking Classes from Her... 104 Saturdays. By the end of the First Class She changed Her mind. The 2nd Sat, I attended the Beginner's Class as usual. But Then, I got to stay behind, while all the other kids left. She had me set up a Still Life Arrangement for the Advanced Class to Draw or Paint. She didn't tell me how to arrange the Still Life. Said I could do it however i wanted. YAY!!! She let me Explore Her Studio, which was filled with the most Interesting Things to Choose From. I set up the Still Life, then stayed to attend the Advanced Class. I was the youngest person in the Advanced Class. There was a boy named Noel. The rest of the Students were Adults of various ages. I ABSORBED whatever Macy taught me like a sponge. Raced through every Art Medium She showed me how to use. IT WAS HEAVEN. I finished my First Oil Painting by the 8th Saturday, instead of 104 Saturdays as She first thought I would. Then We Moved Again. No more Private Art Lessons for me. No matter how much I begged. Dad still insisted Art Lessons for me was a Waste of Time and Money. If not for what Macy Taught me, and My Mother's "Secret" Encouragement... I don't think I would have Survived as an Artist into Adulthood.

My Mother taught me a lot too... She is an Artist... the First in Our Family I think. But She was born in 1935. During the Great Depression, one of 7 children. Her Parents had to work hard to support the Family. She and Her Siblings all had Chores to do, to help out around the House, on the Farm, Etc. My Mother was born into a Time and Place, when a Female Artist was not Encouraged, and in Her Case... Not Recognised As An Artist. She was expected to use any Artistic Talents She had to help make Her a Better Wife, Mother and Homemaker. Which She Did. She was a "Domestic Goddess". I was BLESSED to have Her as My Mother. Because of Her Social Conditioning... even My Mother never thought of Herself As An Artist. Even though that is exactly What She Is. She Taught me how to colour in my colouring books when I was 3 1/2. By Example Only. I sat on the left side of the Colouring Book, because I am left-handed... and She sat on the right side, because She is right-handed. She never told me I had to colour "in the Lines", or what colours to use. Let me just "Do My Thing". She made sure I had the best variety of art supplies to play with and experiment with from the Time I was about 2 years old I think. I had all kinds of Toys that made me Think, could be "assembled"... like "Lincoln Logs", Coloured Wooden Blocks, Tinker Toys, Jigsaw Puzzles, etc. I always had modelling clay and Play Dough to play with. She made sure I had all kinds of Story Books, with the most interesting Stories that She read to me every Day or NIght, from an Early Age, that were Beautifully Illustrated. Besides My Mother... My Books were my "First Art Teachers". I spent countless hours studying all the Wonderful Illustrations in My Books. My Mother "Fed" My Imagination in Every Way She Could. She taught me how to make Paper Flowers out of Kleenex when I was 4. Taught me how to embroider when I was 5. Taught me how to knit when I was 9. But I also Learned from Her by Osmosis. She was So Creative as I was growing up. I saw how She made all kinds of Beautiful and Amazing Creations out of Everyday Items. She was my First Muse.

Exhibitions

Art Exhibitions, Awards, & Honours

2015
"Value Your Mind" - 2nd Annual Mental Health Month Art Exhibition - Catholic Care Social Services
Bungarribee Community Hub - Bungarribee, NSW
- "Joy And Sorrow"
- "Refuse To Despair"
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2009
Arts Alive - Fairfield Prize Exhibition - Fairfield Art Society
Club Marconi
Bossley Park, NSW
- Highly Commended Award - "Joy And Sorrow"
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2008
Royal Arts Easter Show - Sydney Royal Easter Show
Sydney, Australia
- "A Piece/Peace Of My Mind"
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2007
Royal Arts Easter Show - Sydney Royal Easter Show
Sydney, Australia
- "Refuse To Despair"
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1991
Starfest ' 91 Art Show - Star Trek Convention
Denver, CO, USA
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1990
New Western Images Exhibit - Pikes Peak Area Artists 1990 Invitational - Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
- I was one of a handful of artists chosen from the Colorado Artists State Register, invited to participate in this exhibit. I created "Dream Weaver" especially for this show
(Tracy Felix, Curator - Colorado Springs, CO, USA - PH: (719) 685-1684)
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1989
Business Of Art Center
Manitou Springs, CO, USA
"Resident Artist" for six months. Funded by JPTA (Job Partnership Training Act)
- I created fine artwork at this public group fine art studio, and sold my work through the studio gallery. This studio was designed so visitors could watch resident artists as we worked, and talk to us about what we were doing and why. It was a great way for potential collectors to gain a better understanding, and appreciation for the amount of time, care, thought, effort and skills involved in the creation of our fine artworks. It also provided the artists an opportunity to gain valuable feedback from the visitors we spoke with regarding our creative efforts.
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Starfest ' 89 Art Show - Star Trek Convention
Denver, CO, USA
- Best Of Show Ribbon - "She Walks In Beauty... "
- First Place Ribbon - Fantasy - "Inspiration"
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Spring-Thaw Show - Commonwheel Artist's Co-Op
Manitou Springs, CO, USA
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1988
Springtime In The Rockies Show - El Dorado Art Gallery
Old Colorado City, CO, USA
- Merit Award Ribbon - "It's Only Water/See Of Dreams"
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Turning Of The Leaves Show - El Dorado Art Gallery
Old Colorado City, CO, USA
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1987
International Art Challenge - Hollywood American Dream Festival
Los Angeles, CA, USA
- Award Of Excellence - "It's Only Water/See Of Dreams" and "Seasong"
- Gold Medal - New Age - "It's Only Water/See Of Dreams"
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One Person Exhibit - Pikes Peak Community College
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
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Two Person Exhibit - Pikes Peak Community College
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
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1986
Festival Of Trees Exhibit - Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
- Decorated a Christmas tree for this exhibit, using my own hand-made, original designs. Which I sold to local private collectors directly at arts & crafts shows/festivals, through boutique specialty shops and by special orders.

1962 or 1963
- Won 2nd Place in a School-Wide Art Competition, Grades 1 - 6., at Dyess Air Force Elementary School. We had to make a "Poster" on "Conservation". I was 6 or just turned 7. Just started 2nd Grade. Received a small wooden plaque with a brass plate on it.. with my name engraved on it... "Becky Blanton"... and the Details of the Competition.

Press

Gazette Telegraph, 23 Nov 1987 (Local Newspaper at Colorado Springs, CO, USA - Interview and Photograph of me and my Finalist Entry, "It's Only Water ~ See Of Dreams" for Intl Art Challenge in Hollywood American Dream Festival (aka Becky Jo Minsky then)

Pikes Peak Community College Newsletter - Jan 1988 - Interview and Photograph of me, after I won a Gold Medal in New Age Category for "It's Only Water ~ See Of Dreams", and an Award Of Excellence at Intl Art Challenge in Hollywood American Dream Festival (aka Becky Jo Minsky then)

PPCC College Newspaper - Pikes Peak News - Dec 1987 - Interview after I won a Gold Medal in New Age Category for "It's Only Water ~ See Of Dreams", and an Award Of Excellence at Intl Art Challenge in Hollywood American Dream Festival (aka Becky Jo Minsky then)

Influences

My Immediate and Extended Family, Close Friends. In Particular... My Mother, My Brother Linden, My Mother's Mother, My Father's Mother, My 1st Mother-In-Law Lee Summers Hetz, My Beloved Late 2nd Husband Steven Craig Minsky and My Beloved Late 4th Husband John Frederick Hull. My Dearest Friend in the States, Teri Linton. My Dearest Friends in Australia (still livng)... Ana, Debbie, Marta and Maria.

Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, Sulamith Wulfing, Arthur Rackham, Anton Pieck, Vincent Van Gogh, John Everett Millais, Virgil Finlay, Claude Monet, Frank Frazetta, Maxfield Parrish, the Pre-Raphaelites, Arts & Crafts Movement, Gustav Klimt, Norman Rockwell, Henri Rousseau, Michael Whipple, Arthur Prince Spear, William Blake.

All kinds of Music, Composers and Musicians... I LISTEN to SBS Chill Radio, Channel 39 A LOT. All kinds of Books and Magazines... All kinds of Movies.. Certain TV Programs... The Internet.

Certain Types of Lights, Colours, Fragrances and Aromas, Textures and specific Sounds.

Sunrises, Sunsets, Cloud Formations, The Moon, Stars in the Sky, Gardens, Certain Types of Landscapes and Natural Settings, Animals, Insects - Anything Organic.

Basically... just about Everything "Sets Me Off"... "Triggers" My Imagination and Creative "Visions" in One Way Or Another... Makes Me THINK.