I am writing this in hopes that you can get to know me a little better. I believe that it is always nice to understand something about the artist behind the work. I also hope it might encourage you to explore your creativity if you are not already doing so.
I began thinking I would write ten reasons why I love being an artist, but when I got to number nine, it felt like I had finished. I am not one to force things so, here is my list of nine.
I love being an artist because…
There is beauty in the most unexpected places. Creating art has trained my eye to look for it, recognize it, and appreciate it. It helped me learn to see. Colors in nature are more vibrant. Think about the beauty in the evening sky. Sometimes it takes my breath away. I love how the light can peek through clouds, making them seem transparent at times when on another evening, the clouds are dense and heavy. I love how the colors can move from vibrant to muted all within just a few seconds right before our eyes. The beauty has always been there. But I experience it in a much more dynamic way, through the eyes of an artist. I often catch myself trying to figure out how I could mix a specific color that exists only in nature, or how to replicate the texture on a piece of bark or in the cracked clay of the soil hardened by the hot summer sun. I could go on – there are examples everywhere.
I love living in a world where everything is an idea or a possibility for a new piece of artwork. The only limit is creativity and imagination. I am never out of ideas. I will run out of time before I complete my work as an artist. It is lovely to be inspired and motivated to continue to work. I retired from the corporate workforce a few years ago. I am so grateful that I was able to do that while I was relatively young and healthy. So many people asked me before I left, what I was going to do with myself. They kept saying I was way too young to stop working and that sitting at home would age me. The exact opposite has happened, and I believe it is because I found art and my voice as a mixed media artist.
I love being surrounded by other creative people. I find few things more satisfying than when I can sit at a table with others, pour a piece of myself out onto a sheet of paper or canvas, and be completely present. The process of unleashing our creativity together opens a portal within each of us and allows us a chance for relationships and understanding like no other. There is a magic that can happen in that space. Maybe it is because we all feel a little vulnerable and also empowered all at the same time. Anyway, I love-love-love it!
The process of artmaking has become embedded in my thought patterns. That is to say that in almost every life situation, I can imagine a creative way to get from the problem to a solution. That is what art is, after all. It has helped me be more flexible and open to the fact that there are often many ways to arrive at a pleasing outcome. Sometimes getting there takes courage and quite a bit of persistence, but those are muscles that I also need to exercise regularly, so I am glad for that challenge.
It helps me stay in touch with the youthful side of my personality. There is a famous quote by Pablo Picasso. "All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." I believe he was correct. I listened to a Ted Talk a few days ago by Charlie Mackesy. He is an artist. He addresses what a shame it is that there is a chasm in so many lives, between youth and the time we are old and in a senior center craft room somewhere challenged to create art again. What is happening to our creativity and curiosity about artmaking in the middle-life years when we consider ourselves to be adults? Why is it lost there when we are in such need of it? You should look him up and have a listen- if you like Ted Talks. He is thought-provoking. I believe that lifetime learning is one of the keys to a satisfying life. Art presents endless learning opportunities for me, on many different levels.
Art increases my self-esteem and provides me with a sense of accomplishment. We stick our kids' artwork on the fridge to boost their self-esteem. Hanging my latest work of art does the same for me. (at least most of the time)
I love encouraging others to explore their creativity. So many people think they cannot make art or that they are not creative. I have found that this is not ever true. Many people have had their creativity stifled at some point. Maybe they were made to believe that something they painted or created did not measure up or make the grade and that caused them to give up trying. But there is no such thing as good or bad art; there is just art. The end product does not matter. It has its own life once created. Just put it out there and let the world decide what they think about it. Throw it in the trash, or recycle it into another work of art. Either way, it is not you. The act of creating is your reward. Move on to the next experience. It's all about the journey.
I love creating art with my granddaughters and other children. Sydney G. Clemens stated it so correctly when she said, "Art has the role in education by helping children become more like themselves instead of more like everybody else." My granddaughters are both great little artists and are incredibly creative, but live on the opposite side of the United States from us. I don't get to be with them as often as I would like. However, since it is so easy to facetime now, we can do art projects together even though we are miles apart. I have learned many essential things from those 6-year-olds. One of them spurred the idea for this blog post yesterday when she asked me why I loved being an artist! She also asked me how long I had spent on the current floral artwork I am painting. My answer was that it had taken several hours, so far. I am sure she wondered why it was taking me so long to paint that floral when she whipped out a completed piece in the time we were talking. Good question!!!!
I believe it is what is intended for me to do with the rest of my life. It feels like I am living my purpose, and God's truth, when I am creating something new that did not exist before. I want to focus my attention on those things that are beautiful in this world. There is already enough emphasis placed on those things that are not beautiful. Art lifts me to a higher place. I hope my art lifts others, as well. I am an artist because I can't imagine not being one. It has become my way of life.
Wishing love to you and yours,