Thursday, January 10, 2008

Window Painting Work Kept Me Going

Creativity is a value we encourage our kids to embrace. Art sets for kids and artsy pre-school and elementary school projects are the norm. Somewhere along our life-line creativity is no longer a primary value. For most of us, by the time we are done with high school we are done with creativity and on to "the real world".

I'm writing this blog to share with you my story and process in the hope that you will be inspired to live your happiest and most creative life. You already are an artist. Your medium is your life. Whatever your job or life's work happens to be, how you live creatively within that work is where you can flourish creatively.

Being an artist seems like it would be a shoe-in for a creative life, but for me, it wasn't. Art stayed on the easel or as "work" for about 10 years before I got a clue. I've been a professional artist since the early 1980's. I began my professional life by transforming my fledging drawing and painting skills into a sideline business painting holiday windows for merchants. Here are a few of my original designs from the 1980's. Eventually this work and the work it led me to paid for my University degree in Painting at U of O in Eugene, Oregon.

Despite all of that experience and education, a basic idea eluded me. I was so worried about doing it right, about getting every skill I could and constantly learning from others that I neglected to listen to my inner self. Granted, I was working like crazy to eat, stay housed and be educated, so I can understand why self-discovery wasn't on my A list. Nonetheless, I stuck with the practice of art long enough to get to that place.

In my next post I'll share with you the tried and true things I've being doing to get my art off the easel and into the rest of my life.

Photos: I painted these with water-based poster paint in the 1980's. At first, I drew the basics free-hand with a light sketch using a bar of Ivory soap. When I got better, I drew directly with white paint to set up the lettering and art.

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