Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The journey begins with the first step...

For Christmas, my husband bought me an art set. We are bound by several things, including a passion for all forms of art -- music, film, sculpture, paintings, literature -- but we had been discussing our long lost impassioned hobbies. For me, it was drawing. A passion I gave up around the age of 17.

I had spent my life reading, painting, and drawing up until that point. I never was considered good and never had a "proper" art class in school. I resigned myself to the fact that I just didn't know how to draw well. I knew, through some art tests, that I had SOME talent but my assessment was that grade school level was all I could achieve. Our general art classes in school (not the ones the "real" art students enrolled in) were just project busy work (collages, etc.) but no real, true instruction. That was reserved for the classes with the "real" art students. So, I begrudgingly came to accept  that my skill would halt where it had hung for years and being a "real" artist was never in my scope. So, one day I finally put down the pencil and focused on my other artistic loves -- writing, photography, film, and literature.

Now, 30+ years later, I am suffering from a lifetime of "what if". What if I had never put it down. What if I had had "proper" lessons. What if I had an understanding then of how to improve my skill. What if YouTube had been around a lifetime ago.

Thanks to my husband, I dove back in. It didnt' happen immediately. He bought me the art kit but it sat, untouched for months and months and months, collecting dust and me wondering if I would ever be brave enough to give it another go.

Flash forward to June 2015. On June 8, we lost my mom. After years of suffering from congestive heart failure, it and age finally took their final toll and she left us to be with my dad. We buried them together, her cradling his urn in her arms, in a military service (he was a veteran). It was simple, small, and beautiful. In the aftermath, as often happens following the loss of parents, we begin to reassess our lives.

My hubby and I had already begun to simplify and downsize our lives and our home. We are looking to fill our days as simply as possible with those things we love. Turning off the TV, immersing ourselves in music, and tackling our passions and hobbies. As a result, I finally pulled out that Christmas gift - that art set - and decided the time has come.

That day was 10/17/2015. Since that day, I have begun my journey back to find myself. I've begun singing along to music (even though no one wants to hear THAT). I've been reading more. We've kept the TV off. We've delved into music artist catalogs we've only skimmed before. We've shared time with each other and with our fur-babies. We've simplified our lives and are reveling in how much more deeply fueled our souls feel.

I've spent days watching art videos on YouTube, trying to learn the things I never did so many years ago. I have found myself drawn to a handful of "teachers" through these videos and am mesmerized by their skills and talent. I have begun to absorb little things and am seeing improvements in my own work, I am certain is a result of what they are teaching me.

Heather LeBas has been the greatest influence on my journey so far. Her videos have inspired and excited me. I admire her skill and talent and strive to learn as much from her as I possibly can. She has reached out and we're talking and I hope to tap her brain as much as possible to learn what I can to further enhance my work and, more importantly, my enjoyment. I hope to expand to other areas (painting, etc.) one day but I am enjoying the journey, wherever it takes me. ...and I hope my mom and dad are seeing their not-so-little girl, so many years later, diving back into the deep end and swimming with a smile on my face.

(p.s. Ironic that I stopped drawing at the same age I quit competitive swimming, my other childhood love.) Hmmmmmm... now, if only I could find a pool to swim in regularly.... :)

Now to the art work...