Self Portrait, © 2014, Alicia R Peterson, acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11. Photo by Peter Scheer.

Self Portrait, © 2014, Alicia R Peterson, acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11. Photo by Peter Scheer.

Keener Abstract Painter Alicia R Peterson

Self Portrait, © 2014, Alicia R Peterson, acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11. Photo by Peter Scheer.

Self Portrait, © 2014, Alicia R Peterson, acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11. Photo by Peter Scheer.

I have an affinity for questions. You honor me with your questions: what if, why not and really? Please ask away. I do not promise to answer all questions, but I do promise to ponder them.

An answer to the question at hand: What is a Keener?

1. ME!
2. Origin — Canadian Definition — a person, esp. a student, who is keen, enthusiastic, or zealous Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 2003

It’ s a family secret that my mother (a Canadian) claims ownership of the term “keener.” She thinks she made it up a long time ago while raising me and we let her believe it.

I think I’ve been a keener since birth. My nose was always in a book studying. I knew I had to work really hard to do well in school. I was the one doing all the extra credit assignments and was often called teacher’s pet. I was determined to excel and was very tough on myself in my early years (and yes, still now sometimes). For instance, I was disappointed that I was ‘only’ the salutatorian speaker and not valedictorian at my grade school graduation. In high school my mother had to forbid me from taking my school books on family vacations or all I would do was study.

Every bookworm keener needs someone to balance them out. In my case, it happened to be my best friend since third grade, Kelly. She was a tomboy and I tried so hard to keep up. Alas, I was the girl stuck on top of the chain-link fences that we used to scale. I could climb up one side, but would get panicked at the top and could not get down. I would be frozen at the top, boo-hooing and Kelly would have to climb back up and rescue me. She always had my back…she still does and through all our adventures, I had hers too.

This photo was taken at the school yard at the lower east side of Manhattan. On the left, Alicia–loving color and line even then (and drama evidently). On the right, Kelly– the tough looking one (with an admirer who had to sneak into the picture…trying to look “no, I don’t have a crush on you” nonchalant).

Like Kelly, you so want me as a friend… I’m the person with mini-flashlights (yes, several so I can give you one), Band-Aids, sewing kit, hand disinfectant, Ibuprofen, breath mints, colorful hair ties, ear protection, and more in my purse at all times.  And then there are my emergency kits in my car, home and art studio…let’s just say they are extensive. You are welcome to weather storms with me.

What does a keener contemporary artist look like?

Yellow Bend © 2015 Alicia R Peterson, acrylic on 5 x 7 “ linen, electrical wire and plastic mesh. Photo by Peter Scheer.

Yellow Bend © 2015 Alicia R Peterson, acrylic on 5 x 7 “ linen, electrical wire and plastic mesh
Photo by Peter Scheer

 

Investigating new territory, making glorious mistakes, and being fearless in creation; this is my daily work in the studio.

Paper sign on door with text that reads, "Welcome. Please come in. Yes, you are in the right place if you are compelled to make art."

 

Being a keener means that I always want to be challenged by my fellow art pals. This sign welcomed my art colleagues to my studio party where we talked about wanting more…more critique opportunities, studio time and happy moments with each other.

Fire Works Internal © 2015 Alicia R Peterson Acrylic on linen, 20 x 16. Photo by Peter Scheer.

Fire Works Internal © 2015 Alicia R Peterson
Acrylic on linen, 20 x 16 “ 
Photo by Peter Scheer

Always in the studio, always jumping off creative cliffs, and always more business classes. Don’t you want a keener as the creator of your art?

 Are you a Keener?

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