February 6, 2020 By Rosanne Kaufmann

The Thread in My Life

Art has been a long thread in my life. As a child, I liked to draw and look at pictures and paintings in books. I drew all over my brothers’ books and homework assignments. When we children had to rest in the summer during the polio epidemics in the 1940s, my next-door neighbors, Dale and Ditty (Rufus) Crawford, would spend afternoons with me in our cool basement. We had to be quiet, so we read comic books. Dale and I drew pictures from our imagination or tried to draw the birds and flowers we saw nearby.

At Newcomb College and the University of Oklahoma, I took art classes. When I was raising my children, we did “art” together. I volunteered at elementary schools teaching art history and leading art projects as well as teaching art history to seniors. In Salt Lake City I worked at a big city fair helping little children paint panels. I aided the art tile-painting project for the new Galleria Mall opening in Roseville, CA.

I wanted to go back to school to earn my B.F.A. degree and become a “real” artist, which I accomplished in 1993. Since then I’ve been serious about my artwork, using all kinds of media. My first love is oils, particularly for en plein air paintings of landscapes, cityscapes and portraiture. I prefer acrylics for abstract paintings. When I began teaching drawing in Sun City, I demonstrated a variety of media: watercolor, gouache, tempera, wax resist, crayons, pen and ink, charcoal, pastel, different graphite pencils and sticks, Sharpie pens, and collage, to name a few. I love to work with all of it!

I began making sketchbooks for my classes at the University of Utah and have continued sketching our travels, and anything and everything I laid my eyes on in pen and ink. I have always carried one with me. Lately, they have evolved into themed books with watercolor or gouache paintings, writings, pen and ink work, and scrapbooking techniques included. I love making these books and am pursuing this interest rather than making “wall” art to sell or hang in the house.

My earlier books have led me to making a sketchbook memoir with illustrations of a particular subject. I’ve written about the closets in my homes through the years, the mechanical and electronic devices I’ve used through the years, my boss at Tulane, the promise Martin made to me, and many more memories. It’s an ongoing project that I hope will find its way in these memoir pages. And I hope the artist thread in my life always sustains me in my future years as it has so well in the past!


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