Q. How did you get started in your medium?
A. In the beginning I was basically a graphite artist and have used that medium from childhood into adulthood. My first experience with pen and ink was in college with a few class projects I had to do. I really didn’t use it again until 2008 when I wasn’t happy with the detail I wanted in my artwork but couldn’t achieve it with graphite because I wasn’t willing to draw on larger sizes of paper to achieve it. That’s when I switched over to pen and ink. I spent the next 5 years working with pen and ink before I felt comfortable excepting my first paid commission in 2013.
Q. What is the biggest influence on your art?
A. In college the biggest message that you get is to create what you feel and allow those feelings to flow through you into your artwork. When I was raising my children, I had basically stopped drawing because there wasn’t ever any time but for the rare occasional drawing. So I never understood that concept until after the death of my daughter but it didn’t come until years later. My grief therapist suggested that I do something as a way to honor her memory and it would help me deal with my emotions associated with my loss. At that point, I decided to start drawing again on a daily basis. The first drawing I did to deal with her loss was like nothing I had ever drawn before. It has an emotional feel to it that still draws people into the drawing 13 years later. It was my therapy drawing. So I would have to say her loss was the biggest influence and impact on my artwork.
Q. Did art play a role in your childhood? Were you exposed to artists, did you enjoy making art?
A. As long as I could remember, I have drawn and in fact, I am a 3rd generation artist. When I was a kid, I used to draw these stick horses which were literally a child’s drawing of a “stick” horse. I would show them to my mom, which she said “You do such great work”. This only encouraged me to draw more of these stick horses with long necks and legs with tiny heads and long flowing manes and tails. Each time I would take my beautiful drawing to her, she would again say “You do such great work” soon my one horse became herds and herds of these beautiful stick horses. This is my first memory of the start of my budding future as an artist.
Q. Who is your favorite artist?
A. As a kid I loved my grandmother’s paintings and I can remember wanting to be an artist just like she was. However, as an adult, I really don’t have a favorite artist. I just appreciate artwork regardless of who the artist or style is.
Q. How does art impact your life?
A. My artwork today is what keeps me emotionally grounded. It helps me deal with the stress and daily hardship of life and it’s pretty obvious when I’ve gone too long without drawing. It helps me to see the beauty that’s still there and how every moment is a precious gift. Even when life gets hard.
Q. How do you know what to include, or exclude, to make the viewers feel something about your art?
A. I honestly don’t think of my viewers when I start a drawing, everything that I create is the world seen through my eyes. It always surprises me when I sell some of the specialty drawings that I create because I know it’s not something that the public at large would buy or something that’s a popular subject. However, there’s always somebody that’s impacted in some way and it seems to appeal to the buyer due to their past or present situation. I truly believe that art picks its buyer.
Q. When you make your art is it planned or do you just see where it goes?
A. I don’t plan anything and the art tells me what needs to be drawn and when it’s time to do so. I am always cumulating subject matter that appeals to me but that doesn’t mean it needs to be drawn at that moment. If I’m not feeling what I’m doing then the drawing doesn’t turn out right or I stop doing it halfway through the process.
All of the above images are copyright Yvonne Petty and shared here with permission.
Try it Yourself
Learn stippling with Ms. Cooper's Art Class.
You will need:
felt tip pen or marker
something round to trace or a compass