Six years ago I was working full time as an editor for our local newspaper. Editing is like detective work, and I have always enjoyed helping words shine. However, there was something missing.
My birthday was coming up and I had the urge to spend some money on painting supplies. This urge was not all that new. I had taken some beginner courses using oils and acrylics seven years before, but my life was in a different place then and what I produced artistically didn’t thrill me. It was time to try again.
I shopped Opus Online (our little town has few art supplies) and after lots of deliberation decided on Golden Open Acrylics. I bought many different colours. I then decided on deep-style canvas and bought various different sizes, and then settled on a set of brushes.
It was so exciting to receive the boxes full of possibilities delivered to my door and unpack them piece by piece. I squeezed small sausages of paint into a to-go container (which I still use for my palette) and my trusty easel came out of storage and I set it up in the garage. It was mid-spring. I opened the garage door and arranged a still-life display on the top of a knee-high tote, and stood there for maybe two hours, coming up with my first painting.
Sure, I didn’t know much and had a long way to go, and still do, but it was a start. By the end of it I had decided two things: first, I wanted to carry on painting, and second, the garage is a very cold place to use as a studio.
I moved upstairs and took over a corner of our dining room, and there I have stayed all these years. It’s warmer, I am surrounded by natural light, and I have the benefit of being part of my family household.
Within a year I quit my editing job. I had a grand plan: freelance editing, writing and art. I was, and am, lucky, too, to be financially supported by my husband because I am not sure I would suggest quitting a full time job on a whim to be the best move for most people.
Other than a feeling of immense guilt when I heard neighbours powering up their vehicles and heading off to work – perhaps I should be doing more and get back to the normality of a nine-to-five life – and a strange void at tax time when I’d calculate my negative amount of income, it was the right move for me. READ: this is not a get-rich-quick scheme!
I’ll write some more about what has transpired during these six years, but for now, that’s enough for this post. What I would like to hear is where you are at with the work world and your creative world and whether you have managed to meld the two into a deep passion for how you spend your waking hours?