Ginette's Life Story and thoughts on being an artist
A few short stories of my life!
Born in France, spend my youth in both France and Germany absorbing both cultures in to my DNA I now live in the United States. Through an adventures life I arrived at my destination being an 'Artist' many moons ago.
I paint because it makes me happy.
Impressionist Oil Painting Sunny Day from Ginette Callaway on Vimeo.
I feel fulfilled when I am in my studio, or outside, looking for new inspirations.
I have worked in sales most of my life and was never really happy. When I was a child I was driven by all things imagination and creating and I was filled with questions all the time. I found pleasure in the oddest activities.
One of my favorite things to do was to rescue insects out of water puddles and barrels, I was determined to blow on them until they once again, flew off. Maybe they rescued me, because I remember the thrill and sheer joy I felt, when one flew off. It was a “Yes I Did it” moment, where my heart jumped. Come to think of it, it seemed a bit of an obsession.
At other times I sat at my grandmother's kitchen table for hours, drawing, coloring and painting. She used to say I had lots of patience. I liked to do the solitary, quiet activities.
My grandfather and I went mushroom picking together and my favorites were chanterelles, we also spend hours hiding in the forest watching deer graze. He knew all the good places where they came to eat and frolic in the sun. We watched, observed and then went home and I ran my mouth for a long time, telling grandmother all I saw and experienced. It was the best of times. These early years had a lot do do with what I paint today. I have a deep abiding love for nature. To me painting is remembering and feeling at peace.
My grandfather also taught me to dance, as I stood on his feet, I learned to waltz. He said: "Listen and feel, one ... two ... three..., one...two...three...!"
Before long, I was on my own feet, we danced in the living room just like I've seen in the old black and white movies from America. I became Audrey Hepburn.
I never expected that decades later, all of my experiences were to become the foundation for who I am today as an artist.
As I turned 15 I was told it's time to "work", as it is required in Germany, my path led to an apprenticeship at a local pharmaceutical company where my German grandfather had worked for over 28 years. It was called a good job, a future career. While I enjoyed the education I received about medicinal plants and chemistry, I was profoundly unhappy from day one, with the requirements and dry rigidity of the corporate environment.
I simply could not imagine to be there for 28 years or live in the same small town for all my life and never see the rest of the world.
Between the age of 17 and about 20 I traveled around in Germany at night, from town to town and sang at talent shows. I won awards and money and had lots of fun doing that. I enjoyed the stage, I was young, looked pretty nice and enjoyed the applause.
After completing my apprenticeship and spending another three years employed in pharmaceutical sales, I decided to become a city girl, I made the move to Frankfurt, which was huge at the time, I was only 21, for the first time all on my own. I started to work for CBS Records once again in sales and continued my singing, my passion for horses got realized and my love for dance too, by taking regular ballet training.
I paint, I draw, I practice, and hone my skills, I read and visit museums, in other words I live and breath the art environment.
At the end of the day, I am what I am, call it an artist , a painter, no matter really. I love what I do.
I have always been mentally very active even as a child. Despite my family's lack of money or interest in furthering my talents, I pushed myself up and cut my own path. Despite the sexual and physical abuse that I had to endure over many years as a child, I forged myself out of the situation I was born in.
My childhood from the age of 9 to 16 was a painful story of sexual, physical and mental abuse at the hand of my stepfather. The pain and horrors, the fear the powerlessness, it's enough that I could write a book about it. But I don't want to go on about that here and now.
My grandparents were my saving grace and are the reason I am alive. My grandmother is my greatest inspiration, my grandfather my role model for what a good man is.
They never knew until much later what was happening in the secrecy of what should have been a save place for a child. I carried the secret, out of fear I would lose them.
I was threatened that I would never see them again if I uttered a word of the abuses.
Eventually I was old enough to understand reality and had the legal right to leave the abusive home and stand on my own two feet.
All the experiences of my painful youth, my weird and adventures life, are a part of my art. It's what I paint, why I paint. It's all my interests, my passions, experiences, my dreams and sometimes sadness, mixed in to one glorious activity, painting. If I paint happy images it is because I want to feel happy.
It is the activity of painting that gives me the most visceral satisfaction, When the brush or knife loaded with pigment, hits the surface of the canvas or paper, that is when I feel most at home, alive, satisfied. I am placing marks where there was nothing before and it all began with an idea and a feeling and lots of memories. ~ Ginette
This is when I rented a showroom in Jonesboro, GA. Now I am painting from my home and sell online.
This large painting sold. This was an exhibit in a local Gallery.
This is me in 2012 in Lake Worth Florida.
This was taken at an art show in Florida.
This is me on Jekyll Island Georgia.
Me painting. This was before I moved in to the basement.
My little helper Josi
This is me in Savannah Georgia
In my 20' riding was my passion. Being with my horse was great happiness! I miss horses.