UPDATE: The winner is…Sandra Marlow!
It’s weird, but I thought of myself as a writer when I began writing. “Author” was a title I gave myself when I published my first book. It was easy for me to claim those sobriquets.
Calling myself an artist doesn’t feel as easy or comfortable. And yet, I’ve sold many pieces to people who actually wanted to hang them on their walls. To me, it’s thrilling, but maybe it has to do with my mother whose birthday fell two days ago—and no, I’m not blaming her. She was a wonderful mother. It has more to do with my own confidence. Now, she was an artist. She could paint very realistic oil paintings and did lovely watercolors and sketches. I pattered about with jewelry making when she was alive, but my art consisted of more crafty endeavors—using stamps and inks on things like tiles and dominoes. It wasn’t until she was in need of 24/7 care here at home, and my daughter and I were providing that care with assistance from nurses who stopped in a couple of times a week, that I began painting and doodling.
She never saw my work, and I know she would’ve encouraged me, but she wouldn’t have taken my efforts seriously because I don’t care about realism or learning “the basics” of color mixing and perspective, etc. Still, it almost felt like the passing of the baton when she left. Suddenly, I found my next passion (the first was writing!). I haven’t looked back, but I’ve certainly grown restless, wanting more time to do what excites me most.
Yes, I have a “day job.” Being an author is work. Editing is more work. They pay the bills, but one day, I would love to spend at least as much time painting as I do writing and editing. Of late, when my local art guild has exhibits, I volunteer to man the center to keep the doors open for the public, because, guess what? I can paint all damn day. Having time as opposed to having minutes here and there makes a huge difference.
Take for example what I accomplished this week:
These are pretty but quick. I can do them very, very easily. They take about 20 minutes each, mostly because of drying time.
And then there’s this, which I accomplished while I sat waiting for “the public” to walk through the doors. This took time, and I’m thrilled with the “depth” I managed with watercolor paints. I used 4 different colors on those yellow flower petals to get that 3-D effect. I was in the zone when I stroked that brush again and again, trying not to let the colors “muddy” up. And the leaves? Don’t they have texture? Can’t you almost feel them?
That doesn’t mean that if I have time I want to do more realistic or well-defined pieces all the time. I also worked on this:
I did the watercolor work at the art center but used my acrylic paint pens to finish up the doodle work last night and this morning. It took easily as much time to complete this as the flowers above. It’s not perfect, and I can see balance issues and so many things I would do differently if I attempt another. Still, painting this brought me joy.
So, yes, I’m carving out time to devote to painting. Time I could be writing. Sorry.
My question to you for a chance to win one of the hand-painted bookmarks above is, what is your passion? Have you found it?