I have never been much for "hero worship". I am not overly impressed by movie stars and rarely remember their names. I once saw Sandra Bullock at the Capital CIty Brewery in Shirlington and had to ask which one she was. I have run into various members of my favorite hockey team while out and about as well as at ticket holder events. I have had conversations with some members from pretty good bands, and even sat at shows their families, and yet I never was really into getting the photo or the autograph. I always just figured they were just another person. But somehow it is different with artists, or maybe it is their work.
One of the first artist I can remember becoming entranced with was one of my mother's clients named Genna Watson (the only thing I found in a precursory Google search was the resume of her studio assistant in 2001). [23 Nov edited to add: I was tipped off by my mother that I was spelling her name wrong. It seems she is still in the area working on the faculty of the Maryland Institute College of Art and GMU. I still wasn't able to find any photos of her work] Her work completely captivated me. I sought it out and would hang around her studio because I was so interested in the creations and wanted to look at them.
I first became aware of Kathryn Alexander when I picked up a back issue of Spin Off magazine. When I saw her work again in Melanie Falick's Knitting in America, I knew I had to take a class with her and so I started hunting for classes that she taught. I have taken two, the last one about three years ago...it is time to take another. I have had a post-it on my desk for the past three months with some teaching dates scrawled on it -- I noticed the last one was coming up this weekend at Knitter's Review retreat which is sold out...then I remembered Madrona Fiber Arts and the sign ups opened today. I just signed up for a 4 day knitting retreat across the country in Washington State. I guess it is a little birthday present for me, from me.