I used to paint pretty regularly. Oil. Portraits. For years. Positively loved it and can't believe I can't make time for it now. I'm sure that my style would have evolved tremendously over time and I would have welcomed that because I was just getting a handle on the basics when I quit painting all the time. There was a good reason for changing gears in my life, which I'll go into another time, but I do mourn the loss of time and growth.
Meanwhile, I am sure that some growth occurs just by living life. Even when I am not actively drawing or painting, I still look at everything from an artist's point of view. I notice light and patterns and perspective. I am aware of composition and emotion in all things. I make judgements on what I like and why, and what I don't like and why, as well. I think the "why" is important - nothing is more irritating to me than to hear someone say, "Well, I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." A proclamation of ignorance is not a disclaimer. If you don't know WHY you like or dislike something, then you don't have much ground for an opinion.
Here are three paintings I did of my daughter over time. In the pink dress, she is eleven years old. We got some great photos from that session, but she was obnoxious. I wanted to choke her with the pearls! And I wanted to hug her for being herself. She knew who she was at an early age and she was never afraid to challenge me in any way. As trying as that is for a parent, it is good to know that a strong spirit lives in your child. Should you not be able to protect her, she still has a chance at protecting herself. My daughter was born strong.
In the blue dress and straw hat, my daughter is fourteen. Going on twenty-four. I had visions of locking her in the garage until she was of proper age, but that never really is an option, now is it?
In the white sailor blouse she is eighteen. Deceptively grown-up looking. She pulled away from me so hard that I had to let her go, even though she still seemed like my baby girl. I did let her go and the beauty of it is that she came back. She is my only daughter (I also have two sons) and she is a treasure. My life is easier and better because of her. I can depend on her for absolutely anything and I know that she loves me as fiercely as I love her.
My daughter is thirty years old now and has three children of her own, ages 7, 5, and 4. I haven't painted any of them - nor even sketched them - and that is feeling very bad to me. It will be a regret in my life if I don't get busy on it. So my new goal in drawing is to get busy on those kids. I haven't seen them much since I started the crazy work schedule a month ago and I find myself staring at their pictures on my desk during the day. The other night I met them for a pizza on the way home from work and I sat and drank them in at the table. I found myself hungrier for them than for pizza. They are growing so fast!!
I need to get busy and get back to my first love of drawing and painting. There is much to do!