I have always enjoyed creative pursuits. Drawing & writing poetry, making old & forgotten furniture beautiful again, repurposing things in unique & useful ways. I’d marvel over architecture & interior design, dreaming of paint colors flowing from room to room while drawing up floor plans. But I never envisioned myself an artist. It was my sister who saw something in me which I did not. On a couple of occasions, she suggested I try painting. I immediately brushed her off. I had loads of excuses. I was going back to school, had little spare time between being a mom & working plus I didn’t know the first thing about painting – what supplies were needed, what mediums to use & just how much was this going to cost? So I thought nothing more of it. But then my sister presented me with a gift – an oil painting set & a couple of small canvases. Into the bottom drawer of a dresser they went. It’s funny to look back on it now & see that I was almost defiant in my avoidance of my calling. Some part of me knew it was going to change my life forever. Late one night some months later I was restless & couldn’t sleep. Nothing was entertaining & I needed to do something. I remembered my paint set hiding in the dresser. And so it began. Into the wee hours of the morning I created my first painting. A simple pink flower, entirely unremarkable, hardly inspired. And yet I was in love. Everything connected, the feeling of the brush in my hand, the drumming of the canvas as I brushed against it, watching the colors blend and change, discovering the ability to shift paint from one form into another, that it only needed my direction & it could become anything I imagined it to be. It was a transcendental moment. Later that day I ordered loads of painting supplies. Into a closet they went. I was afraid. Afraid that otherworldly moment was really a fluke or afraid that I had found my calling & now I had to do something about it, I wasn’t sure but I didn’t approach painting again until over a year later. It was a couple of months after my father passed that I faced a blank canvas again. Grief is strange, it was in my seeking solace from it that I found the courage to truly begin my work. And so I did. That was a little over 10 years ago & what a wonderful journey it’s been.
The painting pictured is titled “The Beginning”. The pink you see peeking through is the pink flower I painted that restless night all those years ago. I had begun to cover it with a landscape using my drip & pull technique I was experimenting with some years back when my son Kane saw it. He loved it & asked me to leave it the way it was. It took some convincing but eventually I agreed. I’m so grateful Kane saw what I did not, that he saved a peek into the beginning of my life in paint.