I pulled out some old work this morning - in keeping with our ART theme.
The scent of linseed oil still makes me inhale deeply. I love the heady smell of turpentine and the texture of gesso while it is drying. Sable brushes imported from England and pigments that defy description were once more vital to me than oxygen. I stretched my own canvases, made from linen. I saved my allowance in order to be able to purchase one tube of ultramarine blue with its crazy-expensive price tag. Trust me when I say that there isn't a blue that can even begin to compare with this one. (Go and look at Starry Night again) There was a time in my life when the only reasonable place to find me would be in the studio.
My parents allowed me to take life drawing classes when I was a teenager. And then, I had the opportunity to work with a local painter, the late Alex Kenne who taught me more in the short time that I studied under him than all the rest of my college studio courses combined.
I remember a time when NOT painting was unthinkable!
Where did that confident young woman disappear to? My dream was to become a working artist, pulling a living from the joy I experienced while painting. Life happens. Young marriages, children born quickly, one after another, disillusionment, single parenthood, struggle and strife... these are the components that can begin to destroy the dream. I will never regret, not for one moment, the gift of my children. And truth be told - I wasn't an accomplished painter - even though I loved it very much. Today, I have found a 'canvas' that makes my heart glad.
I don't worry about art critique, I simply create. And it's enough, for today. But sometimes, when passing by this old piece, a quick glance can evoke a perfect spring night, many years ago when anything and everything was possible. A magnolia branch brought into the studio, wet with the evening's dew upon it - a moment captured forever.