Yes, I Am Still Painting


I am warning you up front: this post will be a little self-indulgent. As regular readers know I started painting almost 2 years ago. I had run across some work my father had done after he and my mom moved into a retirement community. For someone who showed no artistic inclinations until then, he suddenly became captivated with learning to sketch and then to paint.

I was looking for something new to stretch my creative wings a bit, something that I had never tried before. I was convinced that this type of inventiveness wasn’t in my genes. But, we felt that same way about my dad until he proved all of us wrong. So, I gave it a try.

Progress has been steady, but slow. Much of what I produce gets a coat of white paint over it and I try something else. Betty is the artist in our house. She has tried to teach me some of the basics. However, being rather stubborn, much of what I do is the result of trial and error.

Importantly, even though I am not happy with some of what ends up on the canvas, I do get excited each time I start something new. The blank canvas and tubes of acrylic paint offer a fresh beginning. Anything and everything is possible.

The only judge is me. If the end result is pleasing I put it on display for a while in my office or the living room. If the colors are a bit muddy, the details lacking, or the end results not something I want to look at, that attempt is chalked up to the learning process. I take a few days off and tackle the next project.

What all of this is teaching me is the bottom line lesson I want to pass along to you. Being afraid of doing something new means missing an opportunity to find a fresh way to gain a sense of satisfaction. Even if what you are working on is never ready for prime time, that doesn’t make the effort any less important. 

Forever I have shied away from anything where I would be a beginner. I just didn’t like the feeling of not being good at something, immediately. Painting is helping me conquer that silly attitude. I am quite obviously a beginner, but am OK with that status.

Several readers have asked if I am still putting brush to canvas. Maybe my dogged pursuit inspires them to keep going at whatever is not quite as simple as it looks. So, to assure you I am pursuing my inner Van Gogh (or Gramma Moses), here is a sampling of some of the paintings that have not found their way to the trashcan since the last time I dared to show my efforts.

And the practice and attempts continue!