Ditching the Digital Divide

by Linda J. Green/Metzler '67

I have thought of Scripps often in recent times, the place where I began my creative journey, as I begin, again. In 2000, my son Eric graduated from high school in St. Louis.The same year I lost my husband, David L. Metzler, to cancer just after our 20th anniversary.

I had scaled back my graphics business, Green, Inc., Design Communications during the years of childrearing and busy family life. As I contemplated returning to commercial art fulltime, I found my digital education was not current enough to compete with the fresh crop of artists whose sole creative tool was their Mac or PC.The graphic arts industry’s new requirements for proficiency in half a dozen technical software programs would reduce my creative production to a snail’s pace while I re-routed my rusty neurons.

Which way to turn? I chose to pick up where I had left off with my first love, painting—as in painting with a brush.
This is not to say that I have turned away from the ubiquitous electronic marvel. But I prefer the computer as a secondary
tool, not as a replacement instrument, and use it to promote my products of the fine art techniques in which I had become
so well grounded at Scripps.

Returning to painting was like getting back on the bicycle. I learned to do it in my youth, and I had not forgotten how.
This time, to my great relief and delight, the path was smoother. It seems experience has sharpened my vision, and life has relaxed my stroke. It is as if I have come out the other side of “The Blank Sheet of Paper.” It no longer blocks but inspires like the quiet and familiar shelter of a good friend welcoming the expressions of my brush.

For the past two years I have concentrated on painting wildlife watercolors, especially of Missouri and the High Plains with a number of western subjects from photographic field studies that I have gathered in my travels. I have a special interest in wildflowers, as I find them in their woodland and grassy habitats. I had begun to show these pieces to various art buyers and surf possible venues when an Internet gallery approached me via their phone salesperson. I submitted digital
images of my paintings and was accepted for their site.

My work is currently on virtual display at artexchange.com and highplainsart-design.com. My original paintings, Giclee prints, and all-occasion note cards are on display here in town at High Plains’ physical art gallery. I have recently joined The Best of Missouri Hands, a regional artisans group formed to support local artist and crafters throughout our state.A more democratic climate appears to prevail in these days of electronic media for new artists (young and old) to get equal exposure without having to storm the traditional gallery gates.

Starting from scratch is tough, but boarding a prior adventure clears the track. I am enjoying the challenge, believing all the benefits of a broad education can eventually be put to work no matter how long ago the lessons were learned. I look toward the future with hope and the confidence that faithfulness to talent will reward. How nice it would be to hear from fellow travelers online.

Life Connections

Life Connections, sponsored by Career Planning & Resources, is Scripps’ online student/alumnae networking database—the only one of its kind at The Claremont Colleges. Hundreds of Scripps alumnae are registered Life Connections volunteers, offering their experience and wisdom to the next generation of Scripps women, and to each other.Volunteers complete a simple online questionnaire that includes such topics as major, class year, geographic location, positions held and graduate education. After submission, the new volunteer’s information is added to a password-protected database; now she can search Life Connections for other registered volunteers, as well as have her profile visible to students.

New volunteers are needed to keep the program vital. Current members are also encouraged to update their profile. Registration questionnaires and update forms are available via the Life Connections website: www.scrippscollege.edu/~dept/career/lifeconnect/enter.htm