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Old 02-07-2006, 12:08 PM   #1
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Alexandra Tyng, Unveilings Moderator

The artist's inner world is, in many ways, more real than anything else in life, so I'm going to be a little different by telling you a story in pictures about myself as a kid, and what was most real to me then. It's not just about me; hopefully you will see yourself reflected in the story.

Let's see. . .I grew up in Philadelphia. My parents were architects who also did a lot of drawing, in fact, my father's first career choice was to be a painter and pastel artist, but he changed his mind in high school when he took an architecture class. He used to buy me blank books to draw in, and I wasted a lot of paper. My favorite subjects were houses, castles, rooms with furniture, people, and patchwork quilts. The first drawing, which I did at 3 1/2, was one of my better attempts to puzzle out perspective.

Later I became fascinated by haunted houses. I liked to write books about them, with lots of illustrations of course. Most of the books were never finished. I even made a series of book covers but never wrote the books. The second drawing shows a dramatic opening page for a very, very spooky story.

I could draw "regular" drawings, too, but only when persuaded. Here's a sketch I did when I was 13 of a neighbor boy asleep on our couch.

But I was really interested in the imaginary world, in which I attended boarding school in England, I had altogether 12 siblings, and my oldest brother was Paul McCartney. My friends and wrote books about our life in England, and here is an illustration from one of them.

Ok, yes, I finally matured and faced reality. My friends and family might not agree, but if you compare me to the way I was, you will notice some change. You can always look on my website if you are curious to know what I have been doing lately.
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:54 PM   #2
David Draime David Draime is offline
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Alexandra, thanks SO much for sharing this. You are so fortunate to have saved all this early work (play). I absolutely love the haunted house/unhaunted house. Brilliant!

We have something in common: ...but in my imaginary world I was Paul McCartney...I eventually (when I was about 36) got over it.
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Old 02-07-2006, 07:00 PM   #3
Linda Brandon Linda Brandon is offline
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I loved this, Alex, and thank you for posting this glimpse into your rich inner life. I don't for an instant believe any artist has truly matured and faced reality, though you, Alex, are very convincing, of course. Funny, isn't it, how we call ourselves "realists" when there is so much else going on in there.
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Old 02-07-2006, 07:46 PM   #4
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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So, David, we are long-lost siblings! Or maybe we used to be?

Linda, that is so true about realism--I never saw it quite like that before. I guess we're really superimposing our visions, or inner realities, on outer reality--if there is such a thing!
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Old 02-07-2006, 08:47 PM   #5
Chris Saper Chris Saper is offline
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This is a completely joyful introduction! I love them all, especially the first
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Old 02-07-2006, 10:11 PM   #6
Heidi Maiers Heidi Maiers is offline
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Yay, glad to have you as a moderator Alexandra! I wonder how many of us have held on to childhood drawings. It would be a real hoot to see some of them. Maybe some of your mothers have kept them. I think the earliest I still have are some pen and ink drawings from about the age of 12.
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:00 AM   #7
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Originally Posted by Chris Saper
I love them all, especially the first
Oh, Chris! Heidi, too! I thought this was where I just posted an intro and I didn't expect to get much response.

There's something about little kids' drawings--so spontaneous--in a way it all goes downhill from there. A couple of months ago, a university in this area had an art exhibit called "Very Early Drawings." It was all artists' childhood drawings. My husband and I went specifically to see the work of a boy I used to babysit for who is now an artist, but we ended up loving the whole show. There were such imaginative drawings--you could tell each child's inner world was so unique in ways you couldn't possibly imagine. There were a couple of 3-D things, too, including a model of the Munsters' house, all handmade with incredibly detailed interior. (Yes, you guessed it, I spent a long time looking at that!)
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:31 PM   #8
Joy Thomas Joy Thomas is offline
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Well, I finally got the nerve to venture out to other areas of the forum and decided to look into this during my lunch hour..

Thank you for a delightful post...I adore the drawing of the boy sleeping on the sofa (I mean I adore it!) that sort of vision is impressive at any age.

You should finish those books now...that would be spectacular!

Joy Thomas
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Old 02-09-2006, 05:02 PM   #9
Alexandra Tyng Alexandra Tyng is offline
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Thanks, Joy! I don'tt know what came over me when I started to write this intro--just that I didn't want to say the same stuff I say over and over. About the sketch--it is funny how I look at my old drawings that I labored over and they look so stiff compared to this, which probably would have been a throwaway if it hadn't been in a sketchbook. Yeah, those books. . .it would be nice to have a couple of other lives to do everything we want to do.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:51 AM   #10
Thomasin Dewhurst Thomasin Dewhurst is offline
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Dear Alex

Every time I see new things by you you reveal just how rich a person you are. I hadn't noticed these before - just shows how little I have explored pf the forum - I this they are marvelous drawings! I'd buy the last 2 if they were for sale! Just lovely. All the different details of expression and levels of height of the children in the last picture, and the splendid buildings and landscape that has so much interest and character. And the boy sleeping, with his lovelily drawn hand - just super details, and with the wonderful observation and selection of details that interested you.

It made me realise I am trying to get back to that playfulness of childhood drawings (although I wasn't half as good as you were in the least) in my own work, but there's so much anxiety and self-doubt that goes with it, doing it as an adult, that it is hard to get that joy.

So nice to see these this morning!
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