why i love painting

Went to Paint Nite yesterday with my mom.

It was fun! Mine is the background with reds and purples. The original is the rainbow background.

Painting is relaxing and a fun creative outlet to express myself. I usually letter or doodle in a notebook, but this is the first canvas I signed with my artist initials. I really enjoy seeing the final product and remembering the experience of creating it, but the true joy for me is in the process itself.

This piece was a lot of fun for me. I wasn’t super fond of the rainbow, so I did my own thing. I’m trying to grow my feminine side and wanted softer colors, so I went for purples and reds. I wanted a lean, feminine, strong vase. I love tribal patterns and wanted the zig zag line to remind me that life gifts me waves with both peaks and valleys. I wanted an abundant and overflowing bouquet of flowers. They’re shaped like a “heart” because life means love in my eyes. And I wanted eighteen flowers because 2018 is turning out to be one helluva year for my personal growth.

I usually need to experience things firsthand for me to fully understand something. Rock climbing and skateboarding gave me a brand new appreciation and respect for those athletes. Now that I’m sharing my symbolism here with you about this particular piece, I can’t help but feel awe for other artists and their craft. I recently went to Italy, and the sheer volume and minute detail of the Sistine Chapel now has my wheels turning – what was Michelangelo feeling and thinking as he created that masterpiece? Aside from what the scholars have interpreted for us about it, what symbolism and meaning did he himself instill in that place? This goes for all art forms – what feelings do musicians have about their productions, what thoughts do engineers have about their cars, what themes do authors have about their books?

Mixing colors, coming up with the layout, and having a general idea of what I want is part of my personal process. But what I really love is the feel and response of the paint on the canvas itself. I think art and athletics both have really good metaphors for life.

I have a sense and feeling of what I’m creating as I’m creating it, but I don’t get to control every variable in life. I don’t know how the final painting will turn out. I don’t know how well the idea in my head will translate through my hands and into a tangible form. I don’t get to predict the future. All I can do is my best with the material at hand. I can be present with every brushstroke and enjoy the process. It is okay to simultaneously be both a masterpiece and a work-in-progress.

I’m always a little sad when I’m done with a piece. Endings are part of life but knowing this doesn’t make it any easier when they happen. I step back and am proud of what I created, but it is bittersweet, because I had so much fun making that particular piece. But life ain’t over til I’m dead, and there are so many more things I can create! Cherish the process, release the ending when the time comes, and look forward to continuing to create my life and my art.

What art are you creating with your life? How are you crafting your ultimate work of art, your LIFE? How can you be more im tune with each brushstroke, each musical note, each new paragraph?


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