I was never the kid in school who was the most talented artist. You know, the one who was just AMAZING and everything they drew or painted was just perfect and they made it look effortless. Not me. But I so wanted to be.
When my first son was born my husband and I decided I would not go back to work. This was a leap of faith because my husband was still in school and working full time, I was working full time too. Once I quit we would take a significant loss in our income. But it's a decision I have never looked back on. I have felt so strongly from the beginning that I needed to be home with my kids. And there's no where else I'd rather be :) Challenging yes, but joyful too.
Once my son was sleeping through the night I found myself with a lot of free time on my hands (he was a good little sleeper). My husband had a lot of night classes and was studying and working when he wasn't in class. It was then that I decided to teach myself to be the best artist I could be. I went to every library that was nearby and checked out all the art books that I could. And then I went home and practiced every minute that my son was asleep. I wanted to be an artist so bad. More than anything. I had all these visions in my head for paintings I wanted to do and they never quite turned out how I wanted them too (I still have my own horrific first attempt at a portrait). But I didn't quit, I kept trying. And then gradually I began to see that I was making improvement. Slowly, but I was getting better.
Now I look back on that and I'm greatful for those awful paintings. Because they taught me so much. And with each one finished I had this strong desire to get back in there and try again. I had faith in myself. I believed. I think somewhere since then I've lost that. But I'm going to try and get it back. I still don't give up, I keep pushing along. I guess in a way that's proof that I do believe in myself. Does this post make any sense at all?
Anyway, I have a new project started. It's a portrait of my baby, I haven't quite captured him the way I want to yet, so I'm hoping this one does. I'm working out the drawing right now, I should have the first washes on it tomorrow. It's always exciting to start a new project :) I also included a few photos of my palette and the brushes I use, because I think it's interesting to get a little glimpse behind the scenes of other artists (I was really tempted to clean up my palette before I took a picture of it, but I restrained myself, this is how it looks when I'm working). The little Spongebob sticker is one my son gave to me, I have it taped to my drafting table. He stuck Spongebob's hand on Gary, so it looked like he was petting him. They were originally two seperate stickers. He was so proud of his little creation. I taped it there to remind me of a lot of things. His belief in his self, his love for me, his simple joy in making something that wasn't there before. It's funny how when we're little we want to grow up RIGHT NOW, and then when we're a grown up we try to recapture that childlike faith and optimism. I don't know how great I am at teaching my kids what they need to know, but I sure learn a lot from them.