It’s time to begin again.

Sometime ago, in an art journalling class I was teaching, a woman who journaled a lot but had never painted before, bemoaned the fact her page was ‘crap’.

“What if you were to reframe how you judge your effort?” I asked. “What if instead of saying, ‘it’s crap’, you celebrated yourself for being willing to even try something new you’ve never done before?”

I’d like to say she had this amazing AHA! moment. That suddenly she lit up and said, “That’s it! I need to let go of condemning myself for trying and celebrate the fact I am trying!”

I’d like to say, thus began her love affair with art journaling.

Fact is, she soldiered on, mumbling under her breath for the rest of the class until the end of that session when she stood up, ripped the page out of her journal and tore it up.

“See., I was right. I am not an artist,” she said as she left the studio ceremonially dropping the scraps of her art journal page in the big black garbage can by the door.

Fact is, before I started painting in my 40s, I too believed I wasn’t an artist.

The voices in my head liked to repeat how once, in my 20s, a guy I was dating had given me some oil paints and, after I’d produced my first ‘masterpiece’ informed me I should probably stick to writing. “At least you have a chance of being good at that,” he said.

I dumped the guy but, the fact is, he was right. He was also wrong. I had a lifetime of writing against which to build my proficiency and talent. Of course I wasn’t going to be great at painting.

Heck! It was my first time.

But, like that woman in my class, I had created one painting, with zero training, and chose to let that be my truth – until that day in my mid-40s when I picked up a paintbrush and began again.

And kept going. Again and again and again.

Today, I create pieces I love. Albeit, some more than others and some, well let’s just say their many layers inform the whole of their beauty.

Today, I know that the beginning of anything is just the invitation to keep going to create again and again.

I am in an art show in June. Other than creating place cards for Christmas dinner and memory bowls for my sisters, I haven’t been in my studio for awhile.

It’s time to begin again.

8 thoughts on “It’s time to begin again.

  1. Painting, I expect, is like writing – some days art, some days craft, and most days a blend of the two. I suspect (I don’t even doodle – and when it comes to painting questions, I’m likely to say, “Brush or roller?” ) painting might be akin to writing/speaking in a different language – conveying sentiment in a different medium, for a viewer/reader who interprets it through their eyes, their feelings.

    I doubt your old boyfriend was thinking much about you or about giving out appreciation or wisdom. Still, the memory of his words and actions has stayed with you and gives you guidance to offer words and actions to others.

    I like artists and writers – not so much for whether their work suits my taste, but I feel I’m ‘among my people’ who are creative, disagreeable as much as they are excitable, and whose art/craft mix in their work ethic I so much respect and admire.

    Yes, you are a writer.

    Yes, you are an artist.

    And though you’ve been and continue to be many things, there is always a writer and an artist in you.

    Lucky us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an artisan I relate to the anguish of the woman who felt she was a “failure”. It is so easy to quit, to give up, to shut one’s mind to any further attempts. I thank all artisans have experience moments of anguish even when they have made fabulous strides forward. That moment of doubt is always there squirming away in the nether reaches of one’s subconscious. The trick is to IGNORE it, persevere for it has proven to be wrong so many times. Faith in one’s abilities is a great support system, one just has to trust those instincts to push forward and ignore that “moment of doubt”!
    Enjoy the day, the Middle Kingdom is in for another winter blast.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Faith in one’s abilities and for me – trusting in the process. Knowing that where I’m at with it right now will not be where I’m at with it when I take the next step. ❤

      Hope you're not too snowed in. It's been rather lovely here lately! 🙂

      Like

    • You have enormous talent in my eyes JoAnne. You create beautiful loving spaces where your family and friends thrive. You write fascinating posts about Australia and history. Talent isn’t just a paintbrush or needle and thread – it’s in how we live our lives — and you do that beautifully.

      Like

  3. It’s perhaps easier if one sticks to conventional creativity (i.e., knitting or quilting) to feel safe and not judged. When you start to do your own thing, then it’s scary and vulnerable, and it’s easy to judge ourselves harshly so we can quit.
    I know this summer when I did those woven wall hangings, I was so nervous that my creations weren’t worthy of being a legacy gift. So I get why some would walk away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great observations Bernie — and yes — it is that edge of vulnerability that feels so scary! Like, everything created is open to judgment!

      And your woven wall hangings were amazing.

      I think the walking away challenge comes when we expect our first attempts at something new to be as if we’ve been creating that way forever.

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