I know nothing about how to paint; and yet, I know everything I need to know. I started drawing at an early age. I taught myself watercolours about ten years ago. And I taught myself oils and acrylics almost a year ago. I’ve never taken any formal training on how to paint. And for that reason, I’m extremely insecure about whether I am any good. That being said, I think I may be, or at least, someday will. And that keeps me going. I find it so therapeutic.
Art is so personal. It’s so liberating. If you let it, it can become an extension of who you are, representing all you can be. It’s not about the colours you see, but rather the colours BEHIND the colours you see. Like your relationships with those around you, the colours play with the other colours it touches. It makes the paintings so much more personal cos it’s the colours YOU saw. And no one else. Your eyes – your perspective – are as unique as you are. Also, it’s not just about what you see, but moreso about what you FEEL. Sometimes even I paint with my eyes closed to practice getting on the canvas what I feel instead of what I see. My paintings become me.
At the end of the day, we all want to feel validated. To know that what we are doing, who we are, all matter; and that on some level, we are helping and we are doing good in this world. I’ve been blessed with an amazing support network – family (many of whom are friends) and friends (many of whom are family). They help me and they encourage me. With their love and support, I realize that I matter. And, some days, I even realize that I am meant to do great things. I can move mountains. And that’s why I write. That’s why I paint. That’s why I put myself out there, vulnerable in many of my interactions, during many of my travels.
And so it was on my epic road trip today that I recieved this text from someone that I trust and respect. Someone I love.
“I must say..from an outsider looking in it seems like you have really been on a great self discovery path since you left Chicago. You have come into your own as a writer, painter, blogger, and now traveler. I’m so proud of you! It’s like you’re letting your spirit be free.”
How could I not move mountains? How could I not truly live? How could I not love?
And so I did and continue to do.
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