Often when I am painting and things are not going the way I intend, I ask myself:
“Why am I even bothering to do this?” 😫
I think it is a good question for anyone to ask themselves when the passion becomes a little testy. Hang on...Isnt everything supposed to be all wonderful and smooth when you follow your heart? Not a chance, don't believe it for a second.
But, that's a good thing!
If it was really easy why would you bother? Passion is the super power that pushes you through the difficult times and makes it worth the extra work. Did I learn to play the piano? Nope. Not passionate enough to go beyond plunking away at “heart and soul” on the keys. Instead I am an avid music listener.
Then there's painting, thats a whole other story...
Aside from oil painting classes at age 12, I started my art career by sketching and drawing in my teens encouraged by an incredibly enthusiastic high school art teacher. I found drawing was a great way to slow down and really look at what was in front of me. I was intrigued because I could see fast improvement from one drawing to the next. It was a way for me to escape, shut out the noise and relax. That was the hook. Over the next 10-15 years I went from pencil to conte charcoal, then worked a tiny touch of colour into my drawings with pastel. I began doing pastel and then watercolour paintings. I never liked the washy style of watercolour so I used it heavier, like drawing. Problem was I was disheartened by the fragility of pastel and water-colour plus the added cost of framing so I moved on to acrylic paint on canvas. For many years it was a “love/hate” relationship. I believe that if I had started with acrylic from the very beginning I would have not have kept it up. Instead I concentrated on my skills first, working towards the right medium that would allow me to express myself. Acrylic paint was the one to do it.
I am still working on it!
So, what is so special about acrylic paint?
They say to paint what you know. Acrylic paint has allowed me to combine my creative skills with what I am deeply connected to. As a child in the 60’s I ran free along the beaches and in the forest. "Be home by 4:00" was the rule. As an adult I appreciate how beautiful this place is, but the child in me was imprinted for life. Remembering the trees I climbed as a child, the beaches I explored for treasure and the soft mossy rocks I clambered over, lights an extra spark that leads me to the paintbrush. The memory, the sounds, the smells and the beauty of the location are laid upon the canvas.
And not only that, but the journey, the experience of getting to where I am now plus how much further I will go in the future.
That is why I bother.
I need to print this post out and hang it on my studio wall!
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Below: Sitting in my backyard and two of my latest sold paintings