I met Linda at a Paint A Scarf event recently. She was winsome and easy to get to know, comfortable around paints and paint brushes. She volunteered as an art teacher at a local shelter.
“Were you an art teacher before?” I asked, curious as to how she had “got into the business”.
Linda sighed, “No. I was always going to get into painting when I retired. Then I retired and…,” she shrugged her shoulders and grimaced. She’d never realized her dream of becoming a painter, even though she was donating time to help others create.
Why, oh why, is it so hard for us to give ourselves permission to paint?
Because there is always something more urgent demanding our attention.
When someday comes
I’ve met so many people whose story started with the plan to start painting when they retired, but they retire and…
In 2001 I turned 40. Panic set in. (It’s a standard to have a mid-life crisis at 40—right?). My life was routine, my job regular. I was…bored. I admitted that what I wanted to be was an artist. Note: I was not a naturally gifted artist. I’d had a few classes and workshops. I rarely practiced. There was little to recommend me as an artist other than desire.
I thought, “What does an artist do? How do they behave? What does an artist look like?”
• Bought and wore a tam, those flat hats you see in cartoon drawings of artists
• When asked, “What do you do?” I’d answer, “I’m an artist.” (praying they wouldn’t ask to see my paintings)
• Began practicing
I acted on the idea, I told others to hold me accountable, and I worked at it.
But the urgent is still demanding my attention.
Now is my “Someday”
I’ve made a few stutter attempts at blogging in the past, but recently some of the urgent demands on my time—my father who had a stroke, my child who refuses to launch, my business that languishes for unknown reasons—have prompted some truthful, exposing posts on Facebook. I’ve struck a chord. Turns out there are a lot of frustrated, trapped artists slogging along dealing with urgent problems, putting their creative dreams on hold to deal with real life.
I plan to regularly share with you moments of my artist journey, with the hope it helps you to give yourself permission to be creative, to work at the art even when life is hard, to keep moving forward. I’ll tell you the stories of people I meet, pass on ideas that work creativity into everyday life, cry with you when it’s hard and cheer you on to the goal. We will be brave, courageous, compassionate, thoughtful, loving artists together.
Want to join me?