Healing work

oil on canvas
24 x 20 x .75

The question as to why an artist creates has been discussed in endless books and articles, as well many a psychological research study. Among artists, we often talk about our work and what prompts us to do what we do. Today, this subject came to my mind again.

Today, an email brought news of the passing of the husband of an old and dear friend. My friend, an artist and businesswoman, mentioned that she might start painting again. I understand this is common among creative women, that we spend much of our early lives caring for others and, often, also tending to our non-art careers before we reach a period where we have the time to delve into our artwork.

I have always believed that the most creative years of my life would be in my 50’s and 60’s. It would probably take at least 50 years of life, I thought, to have both the time and artistic maturity to produce my best work. I looked forward to those years. Now that I have reached my mid 50’s, I see that I was right in some ways. However, blessings often come in disguise.

In my own case, my creativity was ignited by the unexpected. Although I have painted my whole life, it was not until I was housebound by a serious illness that I started to see differently. I suddenly had the time to sit on the front porch and notice how the leaves on the trees glowed in crisp morning sunlight. I could lie on the sofa and watch the shadows created by a vase of flowers move across a table as the afternoon progressed. The beauty of small moments, of common objects, amazed me. And, I grew impatient to get to the easel to see if I could put this beauty on canvas. That was the beginning of this still life series, “Moments.”

It’s a shame that it sometimes takes a loss to crystalize our creativity. Perhaps, on considering the lives of some well known artists, it is emotion that drives us to work. But, our work also heals us.

Gail, I wish you many blessings.

1 comment:

  1. You are my hero, Nance.
    It's the end of a long work week. I walk in the door and the house seems so empty without Chuck. Now my son is preparing to leave home for college. I'm so, so pleased for him. His life has been on hold. It's time for him to experience the joys of independence. And it's time for me to fill the voids that are left here. I know exactly what I want to do. Watching the magic; your talent; your paintings from week to week has inspired me to start again.
    I've been searching for easels. I catches my breath just seeing them again. I can smell the scent of oil paints and turpentine. Has to be wood, of course . . . no metal easels for me. Returning to a much more authentic existence. At least for part of each day.
    God bless you, Nance. I thank you.


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