Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rediscovering Myself

I'm a professional artist. I design Halloween costumes, accessories, and seasonal novelty items. It's been my career for the past 28 years. So my days are spent creating things for the company I work for. And it's challenging and can be lots of fun. But after that, I rarely create anything simply for the sake of creating to make me happy.

Art used to make me happy. I used to enjoy drawing and painting and still had the energy to express ideas for me, not just for work. It's been years since I created for me. Sure, I've always loved to do projects with the kids and show them how to make a "thing" then watch them go with it. Sometimes I'd even make a little something for myself but I never wanted to over shadow their expression. I didn't want them to feel intimidated by my skill so I would rein it in and encourage them.

After losing my mom, and having to work through the process of clearing out her things, I was saddened further by all the creative projects she started and never finished. There were sweaters left on knitting needles, baby blankets half crocheted and abandoned. Bags of yarn bought for projects that she didn't start. I know her arthritic hands and her eyesight prevented her from completing a project in enough time to not lose interest in it. I got angry as I threw away unfinished knitting that had gotten dusty and tangled. I donated the yarn that would never become what she'd intended it for. I don't knit and couldn't finish or start any of them.

But oh, how I would have loved if more of her crafts were completed. To use the afghan, wear the sweater and know each stitch came from her would have been a treasure. Not that she never finished anything, There are a few sweaters and several afghans that she completed and those are very special to all of us now.

I decided then that I have to go back to creating things that make me happy. What would I be able to leave behind for my family? I started picking up needlework again.

I love to do needlepoint and within weeks created two needlepoint eyeglass cases. One for myself:

And this one I created for my friend using her business logo on the front:

And the initial of her first name on the back.

 Then I taught my son how to do latch hook. It was always a favorite craft when I was a child about his age and once he got the hang of it he really got into it:

 Then I was inspired to make something latch hook, so I bid on and won this item from Ebay. It's a vintage latch hook kit, unopened! I only just started it. I'll post pics as I go with it.

And something I've always wanted to do was to take a "Paint 'n' Sip" class. Where wine and snacks are served, all materials are provided and you are given a subject to work on and paint along step by step with the painting teacher. Below is the seahorse I painted in my very first class:

Painting that seahorse was so good for my soul. I haven't painted a finished painting in years. Once I started, the brush and the smoothness of the paint flowing over the canvas just lifted my heart. I missed it. Most of the other folks in the class were beginners and casual artists. When the instructor asked if I had any previous painting experience I shrugged it off that I loved to paint in school. I tried so hard to downplay the fact that I've got a degree from a college of the arts and have been a professional artist most of my life. I didn't want attention, I wanted to play.

I have another Paint 'n' Sip class this week. I'm looking forward to feeling free for two hours again with brushes and canvas. I'll share the outcome with you here. :)


Braymere said...

This post makes me very happy.


Marissa Q. said...

Nice! This was a lovely post. Glad to see you back in the blogosphere!

Nicku said...

Creativity is the best! Love the seahorse!

Kelly said...

Oh to have that artistic talent! Lovely :)