Would I have stopped painting six years ago if I had known that one day the pleasure I had known all of my life would hide behind a locked door? It seemed as if I were blindsided that year; a year during which I not only received a new shoulder, but they also removed all my teeth, and a broken tendon assured that I could no longer enjoy even a walk around the house. I’ll admit that I did feel a bit sorry for myself, but using my father’s approach to life in general, which was “get over yourself”, I decided to find something else to fill in the gaps.
I had always written; through my early years I became well acquainted with the publishing community, who delighted in enclosing polite regrets as they returned my manuscripts. But I had never considered blogging. Actually I wasn’t sure what it was, until Cheri suggested trying it.
My blog, and all the wonderful places it has taken me to meet so many wonderful friends, has been the spice of life so to speak.
Suddenly a few weeks ago, for no apparent reason, I decided to paint again. My eyesight has been steadily “heading west”, but I thought I would give it a shot.
I have discovered a trait that many children raised in the military acquire early in life; when you are transferred to another post, you rarely look back. As my sculpture studio emptied out with kilns, wheels, slab rollers etc. sent off to their new homes, I knew I would never work with clay again. I paint in a room in my house, which I felt heeded to be emptied of all things painterly, as I probably wouldn’t paint again either.
Once I had made up my mind to paint again I needed to replenish my supply of everything. The internet is a wonderful shopping venue, and I bought new brushes and paint, saving me the trouble of trying to find what I wanted in the local art store.
After a day cleaning out the studio and arranging paint in the old pallet, I confidently set out to do a very simple painting.
Whoa. In trying to do a very simple sketch, I found that the lines completely disappeared into the paper. Suddenly there was a locked door. Certainly a disappointment. As some of you may know, a great deal of my work has been in portraiture of some detail. All of which entails a preliminary sketch. I should have know it might happen, because I find myself writing over a previous item on a grocery list, so that when I get to the store, I have no idea what I had intended. Dr. A is a wonderful shopper who follows me around and read the labels.
Anyway, I look forward to learning a new way to paint after 80 years. No identifiable subjects, just apply paint on paper. My first teacher in the second grade said: “first wet your papers children”, and that is the way I advised beginning students of watercolor during my 25 years of teaching art. Bear in mind that art is in the eye of the beholder, so bear with me my friends.