I come from an artistic family. I grew up surrounded by pottery and paintings by my father, and fibre artistic works (weaving, knitting, needlework, quilting & more) by my mother. They were always making things. Our cupboards were filled with pottery. Our floors covered with woven and hooked rugs. I wore handmade sweaters, hats, and scarves, and funky leg warmers (still have them).
Eventually we moved from Banff to Prince Edward Island where my family purchased land, built a house, and made our own shop, which resulted in me learning the world of sales early in life.
I also puttered, dabbled in my parent’s art. I would draw, make pinch pots, slab boxes, pendants, and I would help put on Mom’s warps and sand the bottoms of Dad’s pottery so it was smooth to touch. I tried knitting, but was abysmal. When it came to craft fair time, I would help load & unload the van, and watch my mother skillfully display their work. These observations served me well later in years!
My Dad taught as well. When he taught his drawing and painting classes I would sometimes sit in and partake. I would overhear some of his instruction and try to apply it. I liked it. I would get frustrated, but mostly I liked it. But I preferred drawing so I would do that more frequently by myself.
But… it’s funny.
My parents were always the artists in my mind. I wasn’t an artist. I didn’t feel I could own that title. They were very good at what they did, and I admired their singled passions.
Finally, years later, I thought I had discovered a similar passion in acting. And, yes… it most certainly is a passion but I still felt I also wanted something where I didn’t need an audience or a team. Writing, yes… a definite possibility, as I used to love doing that when I was a kid, too… And, when I show up to my blog, I am happy.
You know what?
Just last week, I dove back into the world of paint, encouraged by my painter friend, Melanie Kobayashi, and experienced a ripple of surprising excitement. Mel guided me into her studio, offered me paints, a massive piece of heavy paper, and ordered me to “load up your brush and don’t be scared!” I did what I was told, and soon was having a cathartic dance with the paint and canvas.
My inner critic showed up several times just to keep me humble and sweating. “Anyone can do that” “You’re cheating” “That’s doesn’t take talent” “Who do you think you are painting?” “Wow.. bad taste in colour”…I chased away it away many times.
I replaced my inner expulsions to “I’m just having fun”…. And some obscene chasing off remarks, similar to “buzz off”.
I succeeded in keeping going, and not succumbing to a perfectionist attitude. It was hard work in some ways, and on the other side it was deeply satisfying. And, because of the size of the work… oh, boy.. did my thighs ache the following days. But in the best way possible!
Would you like to see it? I hesitated to post my first attempt, my first abstract purge, but, what the heck!
It’s a wild one… I decided to call it “Mel Made Me Do It”….
Funny how one seemingly unrelated creative activity can open the doors to others. Some old plans for something have re-emerged since painting but… that’s for another time.
Where do you allow yourself to play, create, and open the channels?