A Glimpse of my Art Journey
It’s funny sometimes, to look back and see the threads of life being woven to bring me to where I am in life right now. I have been a creative my whole life, and pursued various creative things – all of which I have loved in their own way – but part of the excitement to me, is the journey itself. Not just the end. The process of creativity is so incredibly rewarding.
3 years ago, I knew I wanted to go back to my creative roots and make things with my hands. As I said previously, I have loved many creative pursuits (all of which have helped me do what I do now), but I only ever truly enjoyed the process for what it was when I was making things with my hands.
(That brings up an important point for my fellow creatives and dreamers, I think. Don’t ever be afraid to pivot. It’s okay to quit something. It’s okay to start something new. It’s ok to do both. I wish I had felt the freedom to pivot sooner. Who said you have to do one thing forever? But I digress.)
My husband and I were opening our hearts to the adoption process and beginning the fundraising for an international adoption. I had slowly been scaling back my photography business as we added to our family, and we were in this massive kind of shift in our lives in so many areas and ways. Looking back, it can be kind of astonishing to see how many things have changed in our lives personally (and professionally) since then, and it makes me laugh a little bit because it feels kind of crazy. But in a good way.
So 2.5 years ago, I picked up a paint brush and began teaching myself how to paint. I figured it would be a way I would contribute to our fundraising since I wasn’t shooting weddings anymore. Watercolor was my go-to medium because I already had the basic supplies even though I really didn’t know how to use them. I don’t know what I was thinking really, at the time. I kind of fell into the medium by accident because it didn’t involve a lot of mess and can easily be picked up and put down as necessary when you have littles around.
Unlike some artists who practice and hone their skills before they share it with the world, I took the somewhat idiotic approach and just began sharing right away. Good and bad, it was all (mostly) shared those beginning months. In a way, this is part of what helped my self-taught painting attempts be successful. It pushed me hard, because I was sharing what I was creating right away, and I wanted it to be worth sharing. But I knew half of what I created was, well…horrible. So I constantly researched and practiced because I knew the quality of work I wanted to produce, and how I wanted it to fit with a brand and business. I distinctly remember when something “clicked” and my paintings became different and consistent.
To be clear, I am constantly growing and pushing the boundaries of my art technically and philosophically (which seems to influence my work more than anything). I wouldn’t say “I’ve arrived”. I never will, and that is the beauty of enjoying the process. My LIFE is a process. But at a certain point, there was a distinct shift in my work (and mind) from hobbyist to professional.
And so that brings me here. Our adoption is not complete, but is fully funded. I still use some of the funds raised through my business to support other adoptions, because I believe it is such a needed (albiet difficult) work. But somewhere in the process and all of this waiting, it was like a bomb went off and my world became bright with the joy and adrenaline of creating in this way, and I don’t want to stop for a very, very long time. It has given me so much passion for the purpose and value of beauty, a desire to help other self-taught artists, and to empower women to define and integrate their dreams into their daily life.
I am opening up this space to write and hopefully share more of my personal process and resources with you. There will also be conversation about our adoption as we anticipate meeting our kids in Costa Rica and process all that is to come. There will be no schedule, just sharing when inspiration and desire strikes. I’m grateful and excited to see the ways this adventure has grown over the last couple of years, and I can’t wait to share more of my process and paintings with you in coming days!