Wild Roses, Oil on Panel, 5 by 7 inches.
This painting is up for auction until August 2nd, 2019.
So much of painting is opportunity
Opportunity – obviously – to paint. Painting and continually working on improving is demanding and time consuming.
You can do it part time whilst you have a day job. I did, for years. And I did make progress. You absolutely can too.
But it’s been brought home to me lately how much more time I can give it now, and the effect that’s had.
Getting here was far from easy and entailed a very, very large leap of faith.
Deciding not to go back to another corporate job, then selling our house in order to fund a wild experiment in becoming a full time artist and teacher is probably the most frightening (and exciting) thing I’ve done.
It goes against all my upbringing; to play it safe, take the well-trodden path, work towards security.
And there still isn’t any guarantee that it will work out long term. We don’t own our own house now (well, we only owned about half of our last one when we sold it anyway).
Still sometimes, I wake up in the morning in a state of panic that I can’t pin down, until I remember where I am and what I’m doing.
It’s not like this has been easy.
But when I come into the studio early every morning, before the kids wake up, and I start my day, I know why we did it.
When I see my kids run out into the (semi-wild) garden in their pyjamas and watch as their imaginations expand, I know why.
When I walk out into the same garden myself, or the fields around us here, and constantly stumble on beautiful subjects for paintings, I know why.
These wild roses came from our garden, one of the less managed corners of it (actually very little of it is managed!)
I don’t believe I’d ever seen wild roses before I came here. In fact I didn’t know what they were until friend, incredible flower painter and rose afficianado Kathy Speranza pointed them out to me when she visited last year.
Many things are changing about the way I paint at the moment, but perhaps the biggest change has been simply coming here, having the opportunity to paint, and having nature all around to inspire me.
Painting then becomes an act of closeness to nature – and perhaps of empathy with it too.
However things turn out for us, the quiet time I spend now with my flowers in my studio is healing, perhaps because it’s so meaningful. And it’s certainly meditative.
It’s hard for me to encourage you to make such an apparently wild leap yourself, although I’d like to. Certainly, I would never have done it myself if a series of very difficult events hadn’t pushed me towards it.
But we do only have this one life.
On days when my head is clear and the fear hasn’t gripped me, I understand that what we experience in the time we have is much more important than what we own.
And the experiences we give to those we love and are responsible for are much more important than the things we buy them.
Best wishes and thanks for reading,
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