Dobbins, M J

Dobbins, M J head shotI was born in Tennessee and was brought up on a farm not far from Chattanooga. I remember always being interested in art and drew things for teachers in school. That inspired and motivated me from then to now. My parents discouraged me from majoring in art (were sure one could not make a living with art) and I left university early, married and had three sons. Some years later when I returned to university on my own, I did major in art and finally received a bachelors degree in Fine Art.

My husband’s job took us all around the world and I still did not find the time to practice what I’d learned with all the moving and life’s challenges. However, we moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and there I worked as a graphic artist until we moved from the area. We moved a couple of more times and ended up in Hamburg Germany where I joined the American Women’s Club. We had a monthly publication which I became editor of for a couple of years. This publication was on the news stand so although it was a volunteer job, it was one of the most productive and rewarding things I’d done to that point. Creativity remained a big part of my life regardless of my spending little time in a studio.

Life often takes us down paths we had not anticipated so I really didn’t get back to the arts seriously until about a year ago after my husband retired and we moved back to the south. I was fortunate to be invited into a small but casual drawing class which sparked my enthusiasm once again and finally I have the time and resources to pursue what has always been a passion even though it was somewhat dormant for years. Truthfully I do think I’m probably becoming a better artist now than I might have been due to life experiences and no longer having a fragile confidence easily discouraged by a good critique.

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