I love painting. It’s like a form of meditation for me. I first took a watercolor class when I was in graduate school, almost 20 years ago. I did it as a stress relief activity, once a week for a semester at the arts center at my university. I remember finding it so soothing, the way that focusing on painting just cleared my mind. I stopped obsessing about all the daily worries and concerns and anxieties. I stopped thinking about my work and my experiments and everything that I was supposed to do. I could just quiet my mind and move the brush and play with the colors and paint. Everything else faded away.
But I only did it that one semester. The class ended. I tried painting a bit more, and I did make a few more paintings. But then I allowed myself to get even busier with my research/grad school activities, and I stopped carving out time to paint. I put my painting supplies in a box, and that box ended up in the closet, forgotten, for years. Every so often, I would clean out my closet and see the box and think, “Hey! I should paint some time…”
But I never made the time.
But then, 20 years later, in Feb 2021, I started painting with my youngest child, Jimmy. He was struggling after the divorce (a process which began in March 2020) and my ex-husband moving out of the house (which didn’t happen until January 2021). Painting was something fun that the two of us could do together. So I pulled that old box of painting supplies out of the closet (and most of the watercolor paints weren’t even dried out!), and I started painting. And then in March 2021, I had broken up with my boyfriend and was trying to find activities that brought me joy during a painful time. Jimmy lost interest in painting, as my interest increased. I went and bought a nice new watercolor paint set, brushes, and lots of paper.
I began painting almost every day, even if it was just for 10 or 20 minutes. And it was a time of peace and creativity and joy in my life. And then I learned about Brene Brown’s “Ten Guideposts for Wholehearted Living” and how engaging in regular creativity is actually a necessity for human beings to be healthy. And that just cemented the importance to me of regular painting.
I no longer paint EVERY day, as I’m currently working on giving myself more fluidity with my routine these days. But I do paint quite often. And it is peaceful and soothing every time I do it.
I even made a website recently where I am posting my artwork.
I don’t expect to get much traffic, but it feels good to just “put myself out there” this way. Just sharing my creations with the universe.