I know I have many projects, some that I work on continuously, like writing to hopefully one day be published, and those needlepoint stockings that I’m trying to methodical about. But lately I can’t shake the itch to start painting again.
When I painted in high school, I did all kinds of crazy things. Things I see hanging up at home now and shake my head at. What was I thinking?! Lots of drips, splatter, and the occasional peacock feather. Nothing I would want to hang in my own home.
When I had to build architectural models in college, I never really pushed myself. I would make a cut of foam core and think, “There’s no going back, I have to use this piece.” I think the same mentality or laziness was always present in my art as well. But I’ve been making the change in how I approach things, I’m more willing to back track to get it right. I notice it in my floral arrangements, my watercolors for Etsy, and now I want to put it to the test with art…
I remember this time in my aunt and uncle’s garage…my older way cool boy cousin set up his easel and was painting, his half smoked cigarette discarded in a nearby ashtray. His need for painting was so great he had to do it during a holiday visit. I remember thinking how marvelous it was, that he could still make art at his age. Now that we have both grown up even more, and I know that he doesn’t paint anymore, I realize I don’t want to end up like that.
An even older memory is one I have with my uncle on my mom’s side. Amanda and I stayed at his house while my parents attended a party in Chicago. It was fun. We watched Magic in the Water. I enjoyed using his funky Coca-Cola refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom. I remember asking him why he stopped painting, the thought of it then so incomprehensible to little me, who couldn’t go on a trip without a pencil and a sketch pad. I don’t actually remember his answer. Though it something sad about growing up.
I asked Amanda last night what she thought I should do. The investment of all the supplies vs. just letting the itch pass me by. And she told me, “do what your heart tells you.”
And in that simple text, I knew what my heart would say. It would say never stop. Pick up the brush once more and create.
I’ve always dabbled, and I want to continue to dabble until I die. Even if my canvases pile up in the back of a closet. Even if I think they are hideous once they are done. Because it’s not about the end product so much as the process.