By: Roseanne McKee
Award-winning artist Camille Minjarez Anthony, began painting as a way of dealing with Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD), but what began as a coping mechanism, has become much more.
“I’ve always grown up painting as long as I could remember. To keep me focused, my parents bought me art supplies,” Anthony said.
“I was originally painting on canvases. I actually started to be able to paint with better supplies in high school in eighth grade. Because of my art high school teacher at Wesleyan Christian School, Ragon Steele, I was able to start to learn to paint properly. He was really a blessing. Whenever I had free time I was in there. He was by far my favorite teacher. He made me a lot better.
“I struggled with school. There were issues. I always took extra art classes. I learned more about life in art class by far than any other.
“I decided a long time ago that I wanted to be a surgeon for military Veterans. My art teacher, who is an Army Veteran, encouraged me. He was the one telling me I could actually do it.
“Mr. Ragon would tell me about everything that happened to him. He told me what I would need physically and spiritually to do that job. He encouraged me to keep my grades up so that I could pursue this path.”
Although she has chosen to pursue the medical profession, Anthony continues to excel as an artist.
“Two of my oil pastels in contests and got first in First in State in oil pastel for a painting of my dog, a blue leopard cadahoula, named Sadie Blue.
“My other one was a picture inspired by a song about overcoming depression, ‘Jeremy,’ by Pearl Jam. It’s about a child being abused at home and being picked on at school. For an oil pastel drawing, I did a drawing of a child with his whole story and painted him with a crown. It’s a kid draped in the American flag wearing a flag and the words ‘King Jeremy.’ I attached the song that the painting was based on and the suicide note the teenager, Jeremy, left at the age of 16.”
During high school, Anthony, who is both Kickapoo and Apache, also began painting on natural surfaces in a style reflecting her Native American heritage.
“I’ve always been very fascinated with anything different and Mr. Steele suggested I try painting on skulls using oil pastels. I started painting skulls my senior year, so it’s been about three years that I’ve been doing it.”
Describing her art, she said, “I use darker colors, dark blues, purple and red. Every painting I do has red and purple in it somewhere.”
“A lot of my drawings have to do with what I’m feeling at the moment. I paint anything and everything on them. I just use the skull as a canvas.”
Anthony has a Facebook page called “A Beautiful Mind’s Creations,” where her art pieces are available for purchase.
Anthony is also a full-time student at Oklahoma State University, Tulsa campus, majoring in pre-med with an emphasis in psychology, who lives in Barnsdall and works part-time at the Osage Square Mall in Pawhuska.