There was a time when I was quite the prolific little artiste, and would pull out my paint brushes or sketchbook at the drop of a hat (who doesn't want to paint dropped hats?). I never took any classes, but enjoyed art for art's sake.
Fast forward to when I studied Art History in college. I spent years studying, thinking about and viewing some of the most beautiful, exquisite, expressive works of art ever created. There aren't really words to express how I feel about certain works of art, but there are a few pieces that make my heart feel like it's going to burst just from thinking about them. I might not talk about it a lot, but art is something I am fiercely passionate about.
Which is why I stopped doing it myself.
Having spent years studying Great Art, I have become pretty adept at spotting hooey. And hooey is what I see stuffed in the back of the guest room closet in an embarrassing heap. How can I possibly even think about picking up a paint brush when I have seen a Caravaggio? Or a Vermeer? Or a Rothko?
I know, I know. I've got to silence my inner critic and be my own rainbow and all of that good stuff. Which is what I tried to do last night, when I pulled out my water colours for the First Time in Seven Years and did the quick little study you can see in the picture.
I had to force myself to move quickly and not worry about being perfect, so I wouldn't die of shame and intimidation, but I got there in the end.
Of course everything is wrong with it. The perspective is a bit funky on the roof, the colours are off, the shading is iffy at best, my brushwork is sloppy... I could go on. But guess what?
I'm kind of happy with it. Happy I did it, pleased that it's not too awful for a first attempt, and delighted at how good it felt to immerse myself in painting again.
Maybe I won't wait so long until next time.