Even though last month was crazy busy, I decided to try a month long painting challenge. The idea is to paint every day and post a finished painting on the host website. There are no other rules.
Here is what I learned:
I have always loved art. I was the kid who asked Santa for the big box of crayons with the built-in sharpener. I remember drawing and writing little books starring a girl with a heart-shaped face topped with curls named Martha. I made small heads out of clay, drew cartoons and made clothes and furniture for my Barbies out of any old scraps. I did crafts, like those loop potholders, the crochet thing with the spool and latch hook rug kits. I tried embroidery, made a mess with my spin art and Lite-Brite kit. But it wasn't until the 7th grade in Mrs. Keenan's art class that I fell hard for drawing. From then on I was seriously hooked, and took every art class in high school including industrial art, silkscreen and printing. I majored in painting at Alfred University, learned graphic design and worked in magazine publishing and was the art director for a training consulting firm for 10 years. In September 2001 while watching the horror of 9/11, I decided I would not go back to work when my son started kindergarten but would instead go back to painting. I have been painting ever since.
I was recently referred to as a fearless painter. LOL. I am far from fearless. I have a long list of phobias and fears. I would share them with you, but trust me, no one's got that kind of time.
Ok, so I am not fearless, but what I am, (I think) is curious. I like to experiment, adding and subtracting ideas and materials and asking what happens if. Sometimes the result is wonderful and sometimes, I make a lot of trips to the curb and paint over a lot of canvas. It's a risk to keep changing things, but I need to be searching, learning and growing. So I gamble.
In painting, I can push into and occasionally through the fear. There are sleepless nights and second guessing. But it's exhilarating instead of crippling. I’m not bungee jumping or trying to get on Survivor. I am just trying to figure it out.
So I don't think I am a fearless painter, but with that brush in my hand, I can be my own kind of brave.