Writing has always been the primary passion in my life, the thing I love most to do and identify with. I began blogging as a way to share my writing and the things I’m inspired to write about. Art has been one of those inspirations, particularly the paintings I fall in love with.
In one post I compared writing with painting: “Images and ideas are the paint, words the loaded brush, and sentences our brushstrokes. The mind and imagination of both writer and reader is the blank canvas.”
Writers paint portraits of our characters in the minds of readers and place them in dramatic scenes. We use lighting and color to evoke mood and atmosphere, and prop “still lifes” about them, revealing tiny details that suggest associations and symbols and themes.
The idea of painting has always intrigued me and I longed to try my hand at it one day. That desire became particularly loud when I was sick to death of words. Yes, even writers weary of words. Then the idea of painting, working with pure pigment and brush strokes on a blank page instead of words, words, words–so fraught with meaning–seemed utterly refreshing.
Writing with no words–that’s what my soul sought.
Watercolor drew my interest. I loved the lightness, the fluidity, the transparency of the medium. But when I was finally ready to paint, the only class I could find was in pastel. So I began playing with pastel about a year ago. While a few paintings were successful and deemed wall-worthy, more often I felt frustrated by my efforts.
Finally a class in watercolor opened up and I feel now I’ve found my medium. Nearly everything I’ve painted so far gives me pleasure. Finally my walls are beginning to feel the presence of my new passion.
I’ve found with painting the kind of satisfaction I’ve rarely found in writing. I always wanted my writing to find a place in the world. I wrote for myself, but also for something beyond me. I wanted my writing wedded to a world apart. Few pieces have found that bliss, and even those that have I still view with misgivings as I wrote about in one post.
But painting doesn’t feel that way. It’s a child that never has to find a place outside my own home. I paint for the pleasure of the process, and also the pleasure I feel from the finished product. It’s something I can enjoy that needs no outward approval.
Much of my writing remains an unwedded bride, an unsung song, a bright promise languishing in a dark corner.
But my painting is a child who needs no one but me to love and enjoy her to feel fulfilled.
It’s a rare blessing.