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Rembrandt

Image via Wikipedia

I can’t remember a more creative time in my life. Sure I’ve made more art at other periods but it was usually garbage. I can say that with honesty because I cleaned out my studio recently and along with some treasures like Scott’s letters, I found some purty darn bad drawings! Wow they were horrible! No wonder they told me to leave art school.

Actually I was told to give up art at least twice in my life, both at different schools. Cool, right? Well I showed those dumb-dumbs by becoming a fairly decent painter. I’m no Rembrandt but neither is Julian Schnabel or most of the artists considered important today.

I threw away stacks and stacks of drawings, and water colors and kept the ones that had a voice in them calling out to be explored. There may have been just one line in a drawing that made it okay and I tossed it, but if there were a few good gestures, I kept them. Mostly I kept them to remind me that I wasn’t a total washout. I knew back then that I didn’t stink but there was no one speaking my language. As far as I was concerned the teachers sounded like the teachers on a Charlie Brown cartoon.

Since Scott died I’ve written up a storm, and am looking at my paintings differently. I’m now looking at them with love instead of recoiling in horror. I know I make my work sound so good, don’t I? That is just your average inner voice of an artist: self loathing.

I’ve regaled you with tales of my wanting to be an actor, hating that world and going into art but what I’ve never spoken of is my writing. I’ve always written, always. Thank goodness those old diaries went on a funeral pyre because it is mind boggling boring the things that come from a teenagers mind.

But while I was cleaning out my dad’s house I came across a letter I wrote to him when I was living in Spain at 18. Now don’t let that sentence fool you, I wasn’t cool and adventurous, I was scared out of my mind and had no business being there – but there I was. Anyway the letter is very funny and warm, it is silly and so eager to please my dad. That trip went into hell very fast but hey, 6 months of living in a phony Opus Dei apartment would drive anyone to drink.

I can’t oil paint where I am currently, but I brought my watercolors and might just go by a lumber yard today and make more yoga blocks. Making things feels wonderful, I recommend it highly. And don’t give me that malarkey that you can’t paint or don’t have a creative bone in your body. Everybody does, you just haven’t allowed it to surface. Cooking is creating, gardening is creating, writing a good letter (or email) is creating.

Let your voice out. There is no time to lose.

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