Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why Am I An Artist?

In the back of my mind I know I'm trying to out-race dementia.  I want to be a REAL artist before I start to forget how to paint!  That's the journey I'm on.  I don't have it now, or even any symptoms but I know it runs in my family. Watching my mom struggle with it for the past 10-15 years has been a sobering reminder.  Alzheimer's or dementia...whatever you want to call it...it stinks!  So, I'm assuming over time I will progress and get better at painting only to decline in later years.  I don't dwell on it because after all...I may not be here tomorrow!  (lol)

If you've ever struggled to achieve a dream that seemed so far out of reach it would be almost impossible to achieve...or, you've felt like that " little engine that could"...chugging, chugging, chugging uphill always thinking..."I think I can, I think I can..."  Then you know a bit about how the past three years have been for me.

Diving headlong into creating art three years ago (at 58), I've been an obsessed woman!  I've had so much to learn and fortunately because of the Internet and workshop teachers there have been mountains of information to absorb.  I felt I was starting out so many years behind everyone else and to top it all off I began with the most brutal self doubt imaginable.  My inner voice was so so critical of every painting I produced I didn't think I would ever feel confident.  And, because of it, I thought about giving up from time to time too.  I'm glad I didn't.   

My tombstone should have one word on it.... "Persevere" because throughout life that's what I told myself to do when things got tough.  It's SO very easy to stroll through life when things are going ok...but challenges call for perseverance.  So, I've hung in there.

For the remainder of my years I know I will love the artist life and continue to be in hot pursuit of that perfect painting...my masterpiece.  Personally, I doubt I will produce an actual masterpiece but every once in awhile a painting does magically "paints itself" (if your an artist, you know what I mean).  

In three years (and over 390 paintings) it's happened exactly twice.  Today I'm happy to report that the second of those two paintings (Along The Shoreline, above) was awarded Best Of Show in the Pastel Society of the West Coast's (PSWC) general members online competition as well as one of the Top 15% FAV on FASO's Boldbrush competition.  I don't enter competitions very often so this is a big deal for me especially because I've taken a look at the wonderful work submitted by all the other artists.  

I was dumbfounded when I got the call from PSWC and humbled to have my work acknowledged in this way.  I also know to "keep it real"...judging is subjective and another judge or panel of judges would most likely come up with a different winner altogether.  But today, I will enjoy the news because I know tomorrow, I will be in hot pursuit of that masterpiece all over again!!!