Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Long Way, Baby

(If you cannot view the slideshow in Flash, please click HERE to go to the gallery)
This week - and today in particular - is very special to me. Today I begin celebrating my last year as an "early" 50-something. But more than that, 18 months ago this week I first dipped my toe into the wild and wonderful world of Art. From that very first tentative brush stroke with a cheapie watercolor set, I felt like I'd found a part of me I'd been missing my entire life.

Three months later (15 months ago for those of you who, like me, tend to be mathematically challenged), I picked up my first pastel - a scratchy, student grade stick - and although it certainly was not love at first sight to say the least, I was guided by some very kind pastelists toward the high quality artist grade pastels. Along the way, I also discovered the joys of sanded and textured surfaces, and eventually fell in love with the medium (although I do continue to paint in watercolor, acrylics, oil pastels and other media from time to time as well).

I have, of course, only begun to scratch the surface (no pun intended) when it comes to being an artist, but I feel comfortable saying I've come a long way in a fairly short time: I've participated in a few group shows, one solo show, done live demos, and even brought home a blue ribbon from the State Fair in Amateur Pastels! I've filled multiple sketchbooks, painted and sketched plein air (outside on location), taken online and in-person art classes and workshops, and painted over 400 little works so far. I've given several paintings away to friends and family, donated some to charity and even sold a few. I have no plans to quit my day job or become a professional artist, but painting fills my life with such happiness, and I never plan to stop painting what I love and loving what I paint. And if what I create brings a little joy to a sometimes too sad world, then that is all the success I could ever want.

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