Why do I sign Gigi Rodriguez?
I come from a family where all the women were great artists. They drew and painted, they used charcoal, watercolors and acrylics. They painted in canvas, panels, paper and silk. They did dolls, artificial flowers, clothes, costumes, the saw, they knitted, they did every single craft you could think of that they could afford but there were never encouraged to explore their talent in a professional way.
Art was a hobby and something to just do once in a while when you felt the urge, something to do to release your creativity trapped into daily chores and housework. An invaluable skill when doing your children’s’ homework. Their notebooks always looked great.
I loved painting and have done it since I was at least 5 years old. There was one time I remember when I was probably 8 years old and I had finished some composition about Senor de Los Milagros in watercolors and my father said that he thought my work was excellent and that I should call myself an artists. Funny it is the only praise from my father that stayed with me…. Maybe I really needed it.
Fast forward many many years and here I am married to this wonderful man who decided I should take a class in painting because I loved it too much. And I did at the Woodruff Center in Atlanta. After that, it was him who encouraged me constantly and consistently and said I should start painting seriously. He made sure I had a room to paint in and put windows and a nice floor as a surprise.
His last name, Rodriguez, I did not take when I marry him, I did not feel I became something of his when we exchanged vows but I know that if it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t be painting, so I become myself because of him.