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Anna Arnold, painter and educator, lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. Anna has been one of America’s most expressive, exciting, enduring artists and independent educators for nearly three decades. She is an advocate of life-long learning and recently graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Graduate Studies program and earned a Master’s degree in Art Education. She completed an extensive two year program under the leadership of director Professor Tim Shuckerow. Anna Arnold earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art and has exhibited in over 200 solo and group art exhibits throughout the United States. As a teacher, she believes she is a catalyst to inspire, uplift and change. She has helped to educate hundreds of school children as an artist. Anna is recognized for her lush, exuberantly colorful expressive portraits, ceramics, masks, beads and painted furniture. Contact Anna @

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Head in the Clouds Girl

Anna Arnold at Josaphat Arts Hall, May 2011

May 18, 2011 - On yesterday's rainy, gray cloudless day, I visited a craft store and was energized by the sight of beautiful new glass beads in an array of brilliant colors and styles. Standing there before strands of hundreds of beads, my head quickly filled with themes for my new WyldSyde necklaces. I started a jewelry company back in the winter because people always admire the beaded necklaces I wear when I am out, had been thinking about it for a couple years and had about a ton of gorgeous beads to use. Why not? Famous Amos said, 'Don't wait until everything is perfect, just get started!'

Even as a little girl, I was always thinking and teachers often caught me staring off and daydreaming. Get focused Head in the Clouds Girl. As I got older, sometimes people would say things like, 'You're such a nice girl. Why can't you be like the other girls? Just make it easier on yourself. Stop thinking about all of that stuff and just fit in? Why do you want so much in life? You're a nice looking girl-- why do you have to be so deep? Guys don't care about any of that stuff. You want too much in life. It's sad because you'll be all alone. Why do you want to be an artist? You can't make a living from that hobby.' But I kept thinking, 'What if?' and putting plans into action.

As a child, as early as 5 years old, I knew that my purpose in life is to be an artist. Fortunately, my parents rescued me by recognizing something in me very early- a talent, an all-consuming desire to be an artist, a quiet rebelliousness. When I was a kid, a girl wanting to be an artist "like Picasso" made as much sense as a girl growing up to be an astronaut or a race car driver. My parents nurtured me, encouraged me, supported me, guided me, kept me on course and convinced other parents and relatives that being as artist was someone that I would certainly become. Sure, I had friends and played but I also liked to go off to myself to draw or write or to think "big thoughts" while lying on the grass gazing up at the cloud shapes shifting endlessly in the blue sky. It was all a big mystery up there but somewhere up there was the answer to everything. I still love looking at the clouds.

November sunset by Anna Arnold 2010

I know I am alive to help make things better somehow through art and education. All of my experiences and all of the people I have met and encountered have molded me into the active and inquisitive woman I am today. What can I innovate in the areas of art and education? Who can I join forces with to help to invent something to help make people's lives better, more productive or more enjoyable? What small thing can I do to help ignite change in the world? What is the best and most effective ways that I can help educate people with the knowledge that I have?

I am forever a dreamer and I guess you can say that my head is still in the clouds.There is still so much more for me to share and accomplish. So much more growing to do and many many more things to work toward becoming a reality. As James Allen wrote, "Dreams are the seedlings of realities."


Unknown said...

Great blog post. Colors and photos are perfectly you!

I too was and still admit that I am a "head in the clouds girl" It is a strange world when people don't understand. There I was sitting in classes, looking out the window, drawing on my notebooks. Dreaming of colors and trying to be patient until Art class. I had many teachers say "She is such a bright girl, She just needs to apply herself" Well today is what it is... And I am who I am. I need the "endless box of art supplies" to keep me sane. Today I painted 5 paintings with my sons. They each did their own, We made one together and I painted 2 alone. Mine ended up being Picasso's "rump" painting. LOL I forget the name. But one was black with red and the other all red. Which now hang in my personal bathroom. The boys... Well it is a mix of lines and mud looking colors of course. Acrylics are forgiving! I will be keeping their minds at work. Always! My youngest (3) decided to draw on the wall today. I said WHAT IS THIS? He pleaded "Not Guilty" But I told him that I would be calling GOD to ask. I told him he better tell me the truth. So when he said that he did, It was because he couldn't find paper? Nice excuse! LOL All I can say is Mr. Cleans Magic Erasers work wonders in my home. So to you "My Head In The Clouds Friend" Keep creating. Your bright colors match your wonderful personality. And I wish you well. I say... Prove the non believers wrong! They too will hang your work someday! (: And I will be sure to see you very soon!

Anna Arnold said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Amanda! I felt the same way about art classes. They are what saved me in school and carry me through my life!

See you very soon!