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.
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.
My sweetie pie of a girlfriend arranged an evening at the Painting With a Twist shop as belated birthday present. I never heard of it before she suggested it. I’m so glad she did. We had soooo much fun.
Painting With a Twist is a venue that offers you an evening of guided painting. They provide the canvas, paint brushes, paint, etc. and you bring wine and cheese or whatever snicky snacks you prefer. The session is arranged by going online to their website and choosing a picture. Then you sign up for the date that instructions for the picture if offered.
The instructor takes about 15 people through a 2 hour guided tour of how to paint a picture. There are times when you take a break to let your painting dry a little between layers, so we all wandered around with our wine comparing paintings and talking with the other people in the shop.
I’ve dabbled in painting but never had any formal training, so I learned a lot just from that one sitting. I’m hooked and fully intend to make a habit of doing this. We had a blast.