Greetings Dear Friends,
I was an art major my first year of college. I lasted about two months before I dropped out, and I didn’t pick up a paint brush again for 25 years.
It seemed like everyone in my art classes already knew how to draw and paint — realistically, of course, because that was the only type of art that was taught at the time.
I felt like I was the only student there without talent, and clearly I wasn’t cut out to be an artist. So I gave up my dream, and became a computer programmer instead.
I was still creative in other ways. In my spare time, I was involved with quilting, weaving, crochet and other fiber arts, which felt safer to me than painting. I yearned to paint, but I was also terrified, because I didn’t think I could do it.
I knew that I would regret it if I didn’t try painting, so I summoned the courage to take a class. My early efforts were pathetic, and it took about ten years of struggle and trial-and-error before I had any painting I was willing to show. That’s a lot of bad paintings!
Does any of this sound familiar to you? From what I’ve heard, lots of people have similar stories. Fear about not being creative, feeling like a fraud, misconceptions about talent.
The truth is we’re all capable of being artists in our own unique way. Our art may take the form of driving a cab, accounting, plumbing, cooking or rescuing stray cats.
It’s not about talent. It is our love of our calling and our devotion to it elevates it to the status of art.
Part of our purpose here on Earth is to honor our calling and to be our authentic selves. That is our gift to the world, and that is our art.
What’s your calling, and to what do you devote your time? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Wishing you a joyful and creative year, in whatever form creativity takes for you.
With love and appreciation,
Painting at top: “On Angel Wings,” diptych, 20″ x 48″, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas