I wasn’t exactly having a meltdown when I started painting, but I definitely needed some kind of therapy after completing a long-term substituting position teaching eighth graders. I also needed some artwork for our stairwell and living room wall.
I had shopped on and off for wall art, bought some pieces from various discount stores and had hung this art around our house over the years. I also own several paintings and mixed media works done by some of my family. My sister was a professional, graphic artist, and my cousin has been selling his art for years in galleries, online and at festivals.
I grew up drawing, but not well, especially compared to my sister who was nine years older than me. Plus, my parents always discouraged any kind of art endeavor. According to my parents, art is messy, costly and offers little in the way of return.
Yes, art is messy. I started out painting outside where I had plenty of space to sling paint and hit only the canvas and some unsuspecting grass. After decorating the backyard and patio, entombing random bugs on paintings and suffering gusty wind and hot sun, I have since moved inside to a dedicated room. I covered the bamboo floor in drop cloths and placed my table away from the walls, but I’ve still managed to splatter the windows, sills, and of course, myself, clothes and shoes.
Aside from the mess, I wound up with some pleasing artwork for our walls during that first month of painting. Finally, we had some large, colorful pieces to hang in our naked stairwell that didn’t cost us a lot of money and were more than satisfying for me to produce.
Art turned out to be fantastic therapy for my chattering brain. When I paint, that nagging voice shuts off completely, and the creativity pours straight out.