I have been giving some thought recently as to why I started painting, and realized I could not pinpoint the time when I decided that it was what I wanted to pursue. While I always struggled in several areas in school, creative pursuits were always dear to my heart. From my childhood sketches to middle school fan art, it was always art that called to me and pulled me through my most difficult times.
When I sit down to draw or paint, the sensations I find in the art room bring me a unique peace that I cannot replicate anywhere else. From the smell of the wood, paper, and paint to the feeling of a pencil gliding across a sketch pad I am always at home in my art room. Ultimately though, it is always the moment when I sit down to begin a new painting and begin mixing the colors that brings on the joyful tug of excitement. If there is anything I enjoy most about painting, it is that moment when mixing paint signals the first step in what will become a piece of me displayed to the world on a piece of wood.
As my art room is the calmest place in my life, my routine for getting into the mindset and mood for painting is its own calming ritual, almost a meditation. My perfect Sunday always begins with catching an early sunrise as it peeks through the art room window, a cup of coffee in hand and the gentle sounds of lofi music in the background. The smell of paint, coffee, and fresh wood is the perfect medley for finding peace and calm. In that moment, I feel the most whole within.
For all of the peace I find in my art, it is not without its own unique set of struggles. While I feel accomplished and proud once I finish a piece, I can be a bit of a perfectionist and struggle to get every detail in place. There are hours of staring at a piece, fixing the smallest of blemishes, before I finally sit back and realize the piece is exactly what I want it to be. In those hours I am without a doubt my own worst critic, and have to constantly remind myself to give grace and patience in my work. Ultimately, when that final line or color is in place, the feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. I may not remember the moment when I decided I wanted to be a painter, but without a doubt I know why it continues to call to my heart still today.