This year was tough; it has been the hardest year of my life. I´ve felt the deepest sadness, the most horrible void and I felt so lost…. And then someone said, “You paint right? Just paint”
And so I did. I didn´t study art, but I´ve painted all my life, enjoyed it all my life… I always regarded it as a hobby, as something extra I did… but I never thought about it as therapy; and I certainly never saw myself as a real artist.
Regardless, I followed the advice, and there I was painting midst my pain; and somehow I felt better. For some reason when I painted I was myself and everything took a brighter shade. I realized then that I wanted –no, needed- to paint every day, as much as I could.
So I grabbed a sketchbook, and had it next to me at all times, to write, to draw, to paint, to vent. At first I was a little blocked,so I started to follow simple prompts I found on instagram; little drawings…. And then I found the 100 day project. I saw it as a good way to commit to painting, to improve my skills, practice, get better.
It wasn’t a big risk, a daily small watercolor painting,… but I did it and it felt great when I was done. I was on a roll and I had improved so much in so little time. It gave me a boost, and about three months later of painting and painting, in the month of September, I joined a challenge by Passion Color Joy in which we would create a piece of art continuously every day for the whole month.
In my case I decided to create paintings of women and connect them all by always having some flower present in the composition. (You can see them all under the hashtag #30girlswithflowers) This time I felt more confident specially because I felt different, I now feel my truth is that I am an artist; painting is my passion and if I want to be true to myself I have to pursue it.
So with this new found confidence I decided on a slightly bigger format and a different medium, I decided on more hours per piece per day; and this time I would show my work proudly.
I found a local shop that agreed to hang my pictures daily as I pained them. It was so exciting to see them gradually fill the wall. And on the 30th day I stood in front of my project and was shocked. It was a diary… all of my emotions, all of my sadness, happiness, calmness, disdain or whatever was in their eyes. For everyone to see.
But I don’t care if my emotions are displayed. Now I feel proud and happy that I´m brave enough to display my pieces without having to “cure” my work , choosing my favorites or correcting my mistakes. And I feel whole and happy when someone connects to one of my pieces, appreciates the emotion and even more wants to take them home.
It´s crazy for me to admit that so much had to break, and that I needed so much pain to acknowledge my passion. To respect myself for who I am and what I love.
But it´s true: I don´t know if I would have ever pursued my passion if my life hadn´t crumbled before me; so I´m thankful for this really ugly year, and I´m really really thankful that I am an artist and I have my art to go to.
I´m thankful I get to put myself in a piece of art and that now I am brave enough to own it and show it to the world.