I have descended from a long line of makers and musicians. As a child we often gathered around the piano where one of the family would pound out song after song playing by ear and we all sang. The women sewed out of necessity but their skills were obvious in their works. The men could build houses and fix cars and anything else you needed. Many of my family drew and painted or designed and decorated and created things. I remember a hummingbird feeder my dad made out of a mason jar once back in the early 60’s before every home had several hanging. We had no idea what it was or how it was used. We all wondered if a bird would really drink from it. They did!
People from times that were harder learned to make do or do without and I am sure necessity was the driving force behind so many makers. Therefore I grew up believing we could do anything we set our minds to do, We just needed to figure out the instructions.
I was born in Beeville, Texas but grew up on the south side of San Antonio, attended Highlands High School and married young as so many of us did. I had four children before realizing a college education could benefit me. So at 32 I started college and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in drawing/watercolor. Following graduation I was hired by the Pleasanton Independent School District and obtained a certification to teach Art at the secondary level and taught for over twenty-two years. Most of my teaching career was spent at the High School level. While teaching I also did my graduate work and received a Master of Instructional Technology. The diploma hangs on the wall; I stayed in the classroom teaching art.
Then I retired. Once retired I spent every day creating something different. I was never bored. I hardly wanted to waste my time sleeping but eventually I did. Every day was a new and exciting day I could do something I enjoyed previously postponed until my work allowed a little free time.
Just shy of two years into retirement an opportunity was presented to me. I could rent the house next to Royal Frame Works, my son ‘s business and start a studio for the community. I took a slow, apprehensive dive into the unknown. I opened the Artrageous Art Studio where every day is another exciting day to make or learn something new. I haven’t learned all I’m hoping to learn and I have not mastered all I have learned.
I have learned this:Life is full of triumphs and troubles and change is inevitable. A happy heart, an open mind and an ability to bend and flex and re-create and redefine yourself and of course, continual prayers for guidance will help you through all the challenges of this life.
My daughter- in-law describes me as “Martha Stewart on crack” and I have to laugh at the description. Martha is in the kitchen more than I am and lately if I am in the kitchen it might mean I am using the space to roll out clay or doodle a design at the island.
Artrageous, my studio in Pleasanton, Texas is where the majority of my work is completed. I am enchanted by the play of light on a surface, by colors that grab my attention, and by the feel of clay between my fingers as it is manipulated. I work in a variety of media such as clay and painting and fiber arts. The common thread bringing the various forms together is imagery and color inspired by my country life and my family.
Darla Royal, Artrageous Owner