This year began my quest to meet and release my inner artist. I’ve dabbled in arts and crafts for many years, probably most of my life in one way or another, but I felt an intense urge to go deeper. I NEEDED to learn more, to be able to express myself in a big way using paint, brushes, canvas, paper, and what I came to learn this year, a myriad of other art supplies I’d never even heard of!
I NEEDED to be able to express myself through art.
For years I pushed aside any thoughts of being an artist. After all, as I told in this blog post, I couldn’t even draw a bowl of fruit to pass my middle school art class! Who was I to think about pursuing art? So I went about it in a round about way for many moons. I was a makeup artist, henna artist, face painter, belly dancer, name art artist, and several other variants on the theme. You see the “artist” after all this titles and yet I still didn’t think I was an artist because I can’t draw anything realistic. Or didn’t think I could. Somewhere in my mind I thought this was what it meant to be an artist, to be able to represent objects in a realistic way. Wow, talk about a narrow definition!
Then I started seeing different paintings and other art work that sang to my soul. I didn’t know what it was called, I just knew that the images made me feel giddy in a child like way of abandonment for the everyday world. I cried when I saw some of these images. And laughed. And KNEW that I NEEDED to be able to create what I was seeing. But how? I didn’t even know what kind of art it was.
As fate would have it, it would take me another 3 years to figure out what I was searching for. I’m sure it was there all along, but I was not ready yet. I needed to make room in my life. I needed space to explore.
It was not for lack of trying. I bought magazines. Did searches on Google. Asked people. Looked for local classes. All of this and nothing clicked. And then I let my need go into the ethers.
In the meantime, while waiting for the Universe to help me find the right art learning path for me the following happened…
- I trained and ran a marathon and a half Ironman race which taught me the importance of little steps to reach big goals. And that it was okay not to be perfect on your first step…or even by the time you crossed the finish line.
I learned to look at myself, what I was accomplishing…and worry less about comparing myself to others.
- I began a very long process of decluttering the STUFF out of my house. I blogged about some of it here and here. But there was so much more and still is. All of this decluttering has helped me to let go of past versions of myself that no longer fit in with who I’m becoming today. I’ve let go of old projects that I don’t want to do anymore, books that are not who I am now, clothes that don’t reflect that woman I am today. I’ve been able to donate oodles of treasures to bless other people on their journeys. In the process I’ve made more room for art to come into my life.
- I’ve prioritized my relationship with my husband, my girls, and my commitment to my family and friends.
- I began to prioritize what’s REALLY important in my life for ME! This is an ongoing project that I revisit almost daily now to be sure that I’m on track. It’s so easy to go into the weeds and find that I’m doing things that are not in any way in alignment for my goals. Too many bright shiny objects some days!!!
All of the above has made room for the art that makes my soul sing loudly around the world right up to heaven to come knocking on my door loud and clear!
Thanks to my amazing friend, Debra, I learned about Life Book 2014 and Inspirational Card Swap. These two artists have completely changed my life in a very big, real way! Through them I have found other teachers, artists, and friends. This year has been transformative for me. After a very long journey through the darkness of self doubt, insecurities, and inner critic demons I can now say I call myself an ARTIST! And, although my inner critic is SCREAMING at me to put a qualifier on this statement, I refuse to.
I’m an artist because I try, I show up, I create, I express myself through art.