Finally…

Finally, I’ve made it to a place where I am ready to claim myself as an artist. It took many years, a lot of inner work, and a lot of creating! I am happy to share some of my journey with you here.

Bold
The first creation I made in Year of Painting e-course , taught by Alena Hennessy. We were encouraged to add our intentions and use paper and paint in an expressive, wabi-sabi style.

I’ve shared with you in my About page an inside look into my upbringing. What I didn’t share with you was that growing up in the caretaker’s house on a Quaker meeting property meant my brothers and I were quite different. We lived in a house built in the early 1700’s complete with secret passage ways, but unequipped with modern conveniences such as closets and showers (we had one bathroom with a bath tub only). We had extra chores most children don’t have, such as weekly dusting of the 50 or so meetinghouse benches. We had several acres of land to play on, a huge playground to ourselves, and a playroom in the nursery school that was really something else; tons of wooden blocks to build with, a giant chest full of dress-up clothes, and a long clothing line strung up against a wall used to hang up paper to paint.  Growing up in this environment certainly did nurture my creativity and imagination, but being a sensitive child, I did not like feeling different from my peers. The belief that I did not fit in carried on into adulthood. I would at times embrace my artistic side wholeheartedly, but mostly, I would reject it because I felt like it made me “too different”.

Playing on the monkey bars on our backyard. It looks like I recently gave myself a haircut.
Playing on the monkey bars in our backyard. It looks like I recently gave myself a haircut.

So when did it all change? I can’t really pin-point one specific moment, but it was rather a gradual shift into self-acceptance which was supported by a whole lot of inner work and undoing of beliefs that held me back. The Eight-Fold path of Hatha yoga helped tremendously. I studied at The YogaLife Institute, close by to where I lived at the time. It was here I was introduced to a new toolkit for life. Around this time I started to embrace my creativity again after years of neglect. I joined the local community arts center to take pottery classes and I was introduced to an online class taught by Alena Hennessy called 30 Days of Grace.

30days
Photo care of alenahennessy.com

 

buddha
Painting I created in 30 Days of Grace still sits on my altar.

Two years passed where I dabbled in making pottery and art as a hobby, when Alena offered a new e-course called A Year of Painting (YOP).

yearofpaintingI-540x680
photo credit to alenahennessy.com

I was living on a tight budget at the time, but I knew this was an opportunity to grow into a more committed artist. I set the intention to be bold, to express myself and to share more with others.

It was a gentle shift into discovering my artistic voice over the course of the year. About halfway through the year, I moved closer to my full-time job in order to cut out my commute time and have more free time to paint. I spent nearly every evening after work painting or coming up with new ideas for paintings. I also signed up for a nature journal course at Bartram’s Garden and embraced an old love of mine, scientific illustration.

Iris
From my Nature Journaling course at Bartram’s Garden, a collage of a Siberian Iris I painted in the style of Mary Delany, one of the first female scientific illustrators.

About 8 months into YOP,  Alena was encouraged by students to offer another e-course about having an art business. Feeling more confident in my artistic abilities, I took the leap again and decided this was the right path for me. I just finished the enriching month-long business course in November, and am finishing up the Year of Painting course this month.

table
Kitchen table turned art table.

It’s amazing what happens when intention meets effort. I am already seeing small and large successes in my newly claimed career as an artist. Successes I could never have imagined just a year ago. And my intention as an artist is simple…to move towards love and share the beauty I see in the world around me. Thank you all for taking part in this journey with me through your encouragement and support. Namaste.

 

 

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