Guest Blog: Artist Paula Callejas "Painting a Diary of Emotions"

By Paula Callejas

By Paula Callejas

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.

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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.

 

by Paula Callejas

by Paula Callejas

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.

BY Paula Callejas

BY Paula Callejas

 

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.

 

To find out more about Paula Callejas and see more of her work, you can find her on her website and Instagram