...I never truly knew what it was to be an artist until I painted away my grief
Last year the universe whacked me upside the head with a reality check. It does that sometimes. First my mother died, then my dog. Within a matter of weeks the two old ladies I'd nursed throughout their final months, days, hours were gone. And left me all sorts of empty. I didn't know what to do with myself and questioned everything about life. And purpose. Grief does that to you.
Seven years earlier I'd packed up my paints and moved Mama into what had been my studio, a small cottage on our property. My son was at war, Mama wasn't happy in the retirement home and I was too stressed to paint anyway. Giving up my studio didn't seem like a sacrifice at the time, it seemed like the natural thing to do. I was still teaching art, I just wasn't making any. I didn't even know what my artistic voice was anymore.
Then I discovered Judy Wise, Stephanie Lee, and their amazing Plaster Workshop. I'd never taken an on-line class before but it looked interesting. Before long it changed my life. I discovered how much fun plaster could be. I loved scraping it, carving it, taking a torch to it. I loved the way it soaked up the paint. But mostly I loved the joy that comes from art with no expectations. Making art because it made me happy. And to my surprise, I was happy. Every day I woke up eager to go into the studio and play. After the plaster class I took Judy's Hot Wax class. Then I began playing with cold wax and oils, because I could. And then I rediscovered acrylics through Flora Bowley's on-line workshop. I took the best from everyone and rediscovered my creative self.
I look back at this past year and can't believe where I've come from...and where I'm going to. I'm at the age where I could be thinking of retirement in a few years. Instead, I find myself becoming an entrepreneur. I have two blogs with plans for a third, each one totally different from the next. I've publicly committed to finishing a novel, I'm developing e-classes, have plans for some e-books. Have had one art show with another in the works. I'm painting like I never have before. And now I have a beautiful new studio, built by my husband, financed by the inheritance from my mother. A most special place infused with the love of my man and my mom. How can I help but make amazing magic in that space?