When I was talking to my cousin a couple of days ago, she asked me if had done any painting lately. I replied I had not, but last week I purchased some canvases and new brushes. So, she said at least I was thinking about it. I have found myself in this quandary before, which means I spend more time thinking about painting than actually painting. I don’t know why, but I have trouble starting a painting. I spend days thinking about the subject I want to paint, how big, what medium to use, like oil or watercolor? La da da da da. In lieu of my procrastination, I must ask myself: Why do I paint? Before I answer that question, I need to give you a little background.
I had never taken a painting class in my life, but back in the 1990’s I was a faithful watcher of “The Joy of Painting,” featuring Bob Ross. A lot of you know of him and his “happy trees” and his professing there are no mistakes, just happy accidents! Well, I loved his soothing voice, his philosophy on painting, and the ease in which he painted mountains, trees and waterfalls. One day, I decided I can surely do that, because Bob Ross said anyone can paint with some practice and by following his instructions. Lo and behold, I found myself in the world of painting without even planning on it. I located an art store that was equipped with all the supplies I needed to do my first Bob Ross painting. I didn’t invest in an easel but used a wooden chair to prop up my canvas, just in case this whole idea bombed. That way I wouldn’t have an easel around to remind me of my failure! Back then was the era of VCR tapes (you youngsters don’t know what those are! Click here for definition), so I recorded a half-hour TV session of “The Joy of Painting” to use as a guide for my painting. I gathered all my paints, brushes, an 18×24-inch canvas and proceeded to engage in something I had never done before. I would paint a short while, stop the VCR, paint a little more, stop the VCR, and continuing doing this until several hours later my painting was done. I still think my very first painting was the best one I have ever painted, and I have probably painted hundreds since that time in the 1990’s! The reason is back then I wasn’t concerned about technique or striving for perfection, I just wanted to try something new to see if I could do it. I didn’t spend days thinking about it, I just did it!
My adolescent son, at the time, had been away for a few days, and when he opened the front door and stepped in the house, I’ll never forget what he said, “Wow Mom! Did you paint that?” His comment was all the encouragement I needed! After one painting, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to start my next painting. So, you can guess what happened next. I purchased an easel, along with more brushes, paints and canvases! Not only was I having loads of fun painting along with Bob Ross but also, I was embarking on an adventure that would span a whole lifetime!
Do you think I already answered the question: Why do I paint? Stay tuned to find out!