Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mysteries Everywhere

"Far Away"
10 x 14 watercolor
(forgive me for reposting this painting, it's one of my favorites)

      Do you ever wonder why you do what you do? Do you ever wonder if the painting you created, that one you poured your whole heart into, will make anyone else feel something that's a little bit like the way you felt when you painted it?

     I do. It's actually been on my mind a lot.

     Something that I ask myself over and over again is, why do I paint? I know I talk about this a lot, just bear with me. :) Sometimes I feel like I know why I paint, other times it's nothing that I can define, just a feeling I have that compels me day after day to pick up my brush and create something.

     And. . . sometimes I almost wish I didn't feel like that.

     Because it's not easy to balance your real life, your family, and all your other obligations with this strange beast of a creature that rises up in you and demands that you paint. That beast that only purrs quietly once you've fed it it's daily ration of creativity.

     When life gets hectic, and I absolutely can't squeeze in any time to paint I feel adrift. Lost. Almost like I've forgotten who I am. I feel disquiet in the hidden corners of my heart.

     The longer I paint the more I realize that I connect my identity with my art. And I've yet to decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing. Because it makes any discouragement, rejection, or just plain indifference that much more difficult to bear. Because it feels like it's not just pointed at your art, but pointed at you.

     I read a blog post by Kate DiCamillo (one of my favorite writer's and the author of The Tale of Despereaux). It was the story of a little girl, Laura Ann, who saw an airplane in the sky and whooped and hollered and smacked Kate (who at the time was in the fourth grade) with her little green plastic purse in her excitement about that plane. 

     Kate looked in the sky, saw the plane, and failed to see what all the fuss was about. I think she even said, "So what?" 


     Years later, when Kate was an adult she happened to see a bald eagle flying in the sky. She stood there and marveled at that, amazed at her luck to see something so beautiful. Then another eagle joined the first. She said:

"I stood and looked and looked at them, amazed; and then I lowered my head and looked around. I thought about Laura Ann, because what I wanted to do was whack somebody on the arm with a shiny, green purse. I wanted to tell someone. I wanted somebody to marvel with me."

     I love that.  

    I guess I don't really want to wish those feelings away, that need that I have to paint. Even if it seems to make balancing my life that much harder, if not downright impossible at times.

    Because when I paint I want what Kate wanted when she saw those eagles. I want someone to marvel with me. 



  1. Oh, I marvel with you Crystal. You are a big inspiration in my life and my art. I have always admired watercolors, but not until finding you and one or two other watercolorists on the blogs, have I felt so passionate about honing this craft and creating some amazing paintings. There is something quite emotional about directing the paint so others can see what you envision. I feel closer to God at those times of creation. I once questioned whether or not to post my mistakes but quickly answered that question.....yes, if I am to be genuine in who I am, with all my frailties, imperfections, and want to be recognized as a good human being then I must. So I am here for you; to rejoice in your successes and encourage you through your failures as long as you reveal them to me. You are a valued friend.

  2. Thanks Crystal. I'm so glad you reposted that painting. I love the awe in his eyes. And what a wonderful quote; something we all need to remember from time to time.

  3. OOh that was a wonderful quote! don't we all want to share our joys with someone who can see things in our perspective?!!And that midnight blue is so captivating, crystal.A beautiful portrait, thanks for sharing.I feel like whacking someone with a purse and telling him about it! :D

  4. First of all, I just LOVE this painting - I've not seen it before. It looks almost photographic but SO much better because it's as though you can touch his beautiful face and fluff up his golden mop of hair. The dark blue background really helps bring him forward too. He reminds me so much of my son at that age :0)
    I also love your new title painting. (I still haven't figured out how to do this successfully!) It's interesting that you are always holding someone's hand in your paintings and there must be a meaning behind that - I definitely have my own idea of what that might be. It's nice when a painting gets you wondering...
    Anyway, yes - I often wonder why I paint, but perhaps for different reasons than you. I always have that ache inside to create and it pains me when I actually come to do it, only for it to turn out badly. That's when I wonder why I paint! But - then I will do something successful, like the shoes, which a couple of people didn't like - even me at first, but now I really love it! It's when I do something successful that I realise why I paint! It's like an emotional itch that has been scratched! Sadly, as a learner I have more unsuccessful attempts than successful ones - there has even been a few tears lately, not like me at all :0( But I think it's because it means so much to me and has become such an important part of my life. One day, I hope that I will know why I paint, every day :0)

  5. how deep your thoughts are about this. I think it's wonderful that you have such strong desires to paint and it shows in your art.

  6. Beautiful painting! And you shouldn't apologize for re-posting. I think it's great to re-visit, and that was what was on your mind and some of us haven't seen it before. It's beautiful and anytime there is beautiful art it's a wonderful thing:) I haven't painted in 2 weeks and I certainly feel adrift. I agree it's a connection and a way to get our feelings out on paper. I love the story you posted. I have 2 little boys constantly pointing out airplanes, their excitement is always terrific, like they've never seen it before. I think the blog serves as a way to have people marvel with us. I certainly marvel at your works and I'm so glad you share a little of your heart with all of us:)

  7. Your post triggered so many thoughts. Your work is beautiful. I'm so glad you paint and post.

    I love that blogging allows many of us to share our wonder at something beautiful that someone else has created. I love the encouragement and support that bloggers give each other. I'm so new at painting, I get really frustrated that I can't produce the beautiful things I see. Sometimes I wonder why I keep painting when I think so much of what I do is a stinker! But this blogging world keeps me going.

  8. The look in his eyes is so amazing... Very beautiful and the words equally fine!
    Have a niceday:)

  9. First Crystal, that is a beautiful painting of your little boy, the way you create those skin tones is incredible!

    I wouldn't say that painting is a beast inside me though, more a beautiful multicloured butterfly trying to get out and show all his beauty to the world - incredible colours laid out in the most beautiful manner. I wish! Sometimes he emerges like a plain old moth, destined to fall away into a dark corner somewhere. But there is always another to follow, and someday, just maybe, out will come that beautiful butterfly in all his splendour, and everyone will say "What a beauty!"

  10. I love this post... For a long time, I refrained from smacking others with my green purse... but now I'm just swinging away at everybody I meet!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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