Today’s a Good Day to Start

A friend of mine decided to start painting, giving me the privilege of telling me that I inspired him to start. I feel humbled and blessed that he wrote me so. And he asked me how I got started. I thought about it, and really how I started could apply to starting anything in life.

Today’s a good day to start… {fill in the blank}

As with anything in life, if you want it bad enough, you’ll figure it out.

As a little kid, I drew cartoon characters, animals, dinosaurs and superheroes. I drew for much of my childhood and teenage years; and then sporadically during my twenties. In my early thirties, I tried my hand at watercolours. However, it was not until moving to Sausalito that I got really serious. Part of it was a marked difference in lifestyle. In Chicago, I was out most nights (and I loved every bit of it, but it was not conducive to quiet time alone painting). In California, I became more of a homebody. Taylor and I would spend our fun times hiking different parts of the Bay Area, mostly Outside Lands in the city and anywhere and everywhere in Marin. Of course, there is my balcony and the magical view I wake up to every single day. Nature has a way of inspiring. Here I have discovered Thoreau’s Walden and living simply.

Another part that contributed to starting were many of my friends, specifically some of them. Derek if I remember right had never picked up a brush until a little over two years ago. And he woke up one day and just started painting. That day was today. And it seemed like a good day to start. My friend Tammy used to draw and paint, and showed me a painting she did of turtles. I never forgot how deep and mysterious and beautiful it was; I still think of it as one of the best paintings I’ve ever seen. I remember one evening, we were in a bar with Derek in Santa Monica talking to the bartender who was a friend of his and an accomplished artist. I saw her work, amazed and inspired. I was ready.

I had never used oils or acrylics, admittedly intimidated by both. Seeing Derek start inspired me. Seeing Tammy’s painting inspired me. A host of other things happened during that time all pointing me to start.

And so I did.

I started.

Though I was not any good (and only recently have acknowledged that I may have some talent), I really liked what I did. More accurately, I loved how I felt. What I did was not good, to put it mildly; but I was kind to myself and acknowledged that it would be quite some time before I became any semblance of good. Fortunately, I do have a proclivity to art; so I knew I had it in me.

So that’s my advice.

Just start. Paint. Draw. Paint. Sketch. Paint some more. Paint. Paint again. And some day, it will click. Or it may not. Both outcomes are ok.

Below are two paintings, both inspired by the view off my balcony. the top one is the first (or maybe second) oil painting I ever did. The one below it, I started the weekend that my buddy Nick was in town. The sunrise that morning was magical. I like to think, obviously, I’ve come a long way. The difference between the two paintings is more than two years.

So what are you waiting for?

What are you about to start?

Painting 1 and Painting 1001
Painting 1 and Painting 1001

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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