Painting With Words

Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging. ― Maya Angelou

Maybe some people have a knee jerk reaction to the term “grow up.” Perhaps it’s more of a case of growing into yourself. Little girls like to play dress up with mommy’s clothes. Boys like to do it too, I know because I have brothers. Now they didn’t dress in my mother’s clothes, but we had a lot of fun coming up with costumes.

When we get older we are told to put away childish things. What I want to know is…who defines childish things? I put away painting and creativity for 50 years because I bought into the lie. You mess around with finger paints, water colors, crayons, but then you grow up. Other activities are deemed more important. Making a living in a mind numbing horrible job. Pay the rent, raise the kids, wash the clothes, feed the starving hordes, buy a house, buy a car, work for a charity in your “free time” because you are supposed to give back, never mind that you giving to someone else’s idea of what is important.

I’ve been reading this book called the Artist Way, by Julia Cameron. I read it years ago, but put it away. The author points out in excruciating detail all these fallacies when it comes to creativity. She suggests treating your inner artist as a child who wants to come out and play. If we put it off this child, just like a physical child, will have a tantrum. It manifests as stress, boredom, ennui, and feeling like something is missing in your life.

First Oil Painting

First Oil Painting

To the left here is my very first every oil painting so don’t laugh! I struggled with it and finally declared it finished because any additional paint I added just seemed to make it more blurred and muddy. I learned a lot about mixing and blending colors from it.

Any way back to the Artist Way, Cameron states that we shoot ourselves in the foot when we label ourselves as lazy when we fail to let go and start creating. What it really going on is fear with a capital F. There is a huge difference there.

This rang true for me and I realized that I’d been doing it for 50 years. I’ve always loved to write so the first step I took to get away from the fear was to start a blog. And let me tell you, I almost had a stroke the first time I pushed the “publish” button. And over the past couple of years I’ve been through a gamut of emotions. But, I gave myself permission write about what I wanted to write about. Then I had to give myself permission to not write when I didn’t want to or felt I had nothing to say that I wanted bared to public scrutiny.

The last week or so writing fell by the wayside because I’ve been caught up in painting. The creative part of my brain is expressing itself in colors, textures and shapes instead of written words. It’s an interesting state of mind. I get so caught up in it that words seem foreign. Now that I’m back to painting with words, they seem to come out a bit different than before. I’m loving it and I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

5 responses

  1. Sorry I’ve been away. WP wasn’t sending me proper updates, and I have severe Shiny Object Syndrome; anything not directly in front of my face gets forgotten.

    Your painting is wonderful. Very expressive. There’s almost a Renoir quality to it. (No, that’s not just BS; look at the brushstrokes.)

  2. What a gorgeous first oil painting! It would absolutely brighten up any room! No kidding about not growing up – I’m still crazy about stickers. I had to crack up when a friend of mine many years ago had handed me really kiddie stickers (the kind you’d probably find at a Carnival or flea market). I had to laugh because I didn’t realize my sticker-aholism was so evident to others. I didn’t even feel I knew that co-worker that well. We’d love to see your following oil paintings!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 Stickers sound like fun. I’ve been wanting to decorate my office window with something. Maybe stickers would be do it. I have a thing for little pin buttons. I like to pin them all over my backpack.

  3. Good on you! I like the concept of letting the inner artist out. It sounds like you are well along the path of rediscovering that part of you.
    Blogging is a creative process, but it too can turn into a job if you get caught in what I call ‘the Dark Side’ of blogging!

    1. Yea I’ve ventured through the dark side of blogging myself. When it starts to feel forced I’ve learned to just leave it be for a while.

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