This blog is going to be about my growth as an artist, if that’s what I am. This painting is how it restarted at 65 after 23 years of not touching a brush or thinking about painting. But after 40 years of parenting and 43 years of marriage, the nest is empty, so here we go.
My children have bugged me for years to start painting again. But, between work, family, homeschooling, volunteering etc. where was I to find the time? Well, as they say, “timing is everything.” Days after my last adult child moved out for Chicago, I received a text from a dear friend of mine, Tami. Not knowing my history as a wannabe artist, she asked if I would join her in a watercolor class. We both needed the therapy and the company. During the first lesson we were assigned to bring a project to work on back to class with us the next week. I knew right away exactly what I was going to do.
I had started a painting 25 years earlier. I still had the original sketch and photograph image dated 1981, of my daughter Ruth, who is now 41 years old. At the time I originally started, she was in high school. The picture is of her when she was about 4. She was up in an apple tree in the back yard . . . Day Dreaming. It captures the essence of her melancholy thoughtfulness.
I am so proud of the woman she has become. She runs a summer youth program for the Center for Talent Development at North Western University in Evanston, Illinois. She’s a big girl now, but the essence is the same; thoughtful, critical, discerning. Painting this memory of her was a joyful reminiscence, a thankful experience which of course took me through many years of her childhood.
So, here it is. My first painting after 25 years. I was never more than a hobbyist. My formal training amounts to one beginning watercolor class that I took in 1980 at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art and the beginning watercolor class that I took many years later in September of 2015 But, my desire to grow has been renewed. So, I’m ready to give it a go.
Next, one of Ruth’s favorite people, her nephew and my grandson, Ridgley Hayes:
And . . . to really get the “growth” theme of this blog, I suppose you have to look at the painting from the first posted to the last – backwards.