I was really lucky that as a kid my parents fostered my love of art. When I was nine years old, they put me in my first drawing class. I took painting, collage and life drawing classes (yes, real naked people) at a wonderful school here in LA when I was 14. When it came time to pick a major in college, I remember sitting with my mom on the couch with the UCSB application in hand, scanning the dozens of options. She asked me what I wanted to study, and when I said Art History, she didn’t flinch. I enjoyed four wonderful years of studying all types of art. I also took some art and drawing classes post graduate at UCLA in their Landscape Architecture department.
That said, I never think of myself as an artist. I’m married to an amazing artist, and many of my friends are very accomplished painters. Being surrounded by all this talent has been a little intimidating because I always compare my work to theirs – and my efforts never seem to stack up.
Since I’m getting back to my “I don’t care” basics, I’ve decided that because I love painting, I’m going to do it weather it turns out ‘good’ or not. I love the whole process: fishing through the beat up metal box of paints, squeezing the tubes on the pallet and watching the colors come alive when you mix them with water. It’s really magical to see the color that emerges from under the brush when you’re stroking it across the page.
Yet because I don’t see myself as a ‘real painter’ I’ve let my watercolors and collection of art paper collect dust. Time to focus more on the fun of the experience, and not worry so much about it being perfect. (I’m teaching these same themes to my son, by the way – there’s nothing like having a kid to give you a refresher course on what’s important in life).
I decided to go for a self portrait, with the theme of bees. A couple days ago I had my hubby take a photo of me. Then, yesterday afternoon when my son was reading from his Star Wars Encyclopedia for an hour (don’t ask) I inked in the drawing. Then, last night when my guys were busy playing Pokemon till 9PM (don’t ask), I did the watercolor on top of the drawing.
I kind of like the end result – it reminds me of how my paintings looked back when I was in art class as a young teenager. Weather I developed my style early on (yeah right) or I’ve never progressed passed a 14-year-old art student level, it doesn’t really matter. I had a lot of fun doing it, and I’m sharing it here as an expression of creating something simply for the fun of it.