"I didn't even know you were a painter!"
"I didn't even know you were a painter," a friend messaged me last year. My answer was, "Neither did I" - lol. It started when I was a little girl, watching my mom paint. I remember a ditto page from some elementary school thang where I wrote what I wanted to be, and in awkward lettering, I wrote," I want to be an artist." Fast forward to 1977, and this lovely photo shows some art I made when I was ten. Some DoDo bird assignment that I took very seriously. Complete with wax resist via crayon and watercolor/ink that filled in the gaps.
The 2nd image is a piece of art from 1989. I was holed up in a hospital then childhood home when my Appendix blew up unexpectedly. My mother is a great oil and acrylic landscape painter, and she had pastels, so I got my only ever "painting" lesson from her. Something about "complementary colors" and keep redrawing over the subject. I've never tried pastels since, but forever am proud of this piece, since it was guided by my beautiful, talented mother, and was a one-off painting that made the count of my portfolio of paintings be "one" - for the next 3 decades. (I just noticed this bird theme; maybe I should paint some birds in my present-day artist persona!). Now, I have always known I was creative, my career is mostly graphic design focussed, and I did a couple decades of ceramic art and have a nice collection of vases, colanders and bowls still from that era. But painting didn't start until after I turned 50 something.
With that said, fast forward to the COVID shutdown in 2020, and I finally used the paints from a childhood friend's studio she left behind after passing away way too early. I lugged them about, post-divorce - to at least 6 locations I called home. Covid forced a bunch of us to find our creative side while sheltering in place. Sprinkle in some family rejection and drama and fighting the hot-flash-induced sleep deprivation and depression, and I started drawing hearts with wings. Over and over. It lifted me up.
With another move to a new place to try shared living with my dude, Sean, I got myself a tiny rental artist studio. My motivation was to find a home for my creative crap and clutter that couldn't fit into Sean's place. This launched it. Let's paint! I went all out and painted away and found out I had the ability, and it made me happy. So shortly after, I started to work on re-routing this menopause thing and get healthy as well.
And here we are. A few art shows, art and wine festivals, restaurant displays, websites, and Instagram handles later. Happier and Healthier :)