From the artist’s mind: Coming back to my muse

Plunge oil painting showing a man floating weightless in waterFrom an early age, I knew I wanted to create, to make something that would last, when I grew up. I knew that I wanted to become an artist. Although the road wasn’t easy, I have always felt that my experiences led me to where I am, and who I am. Who I am is an artist.

As a child, I didn’t have access to museums or galleries, so instead I found art in books; encyclopedic references and the library were my mainstays for finding inspiration and learning about style, brushstrokes, and color. I regularly would ask for clay to sculpt and brushes and paint to create. But life happens, and my creative spirit ebbed and flowed like the tide.

As a young man I abandoned art to make money and raise a family. At times I tried to pretend painting would always be there. I would tell myself, “Art is just what I do to pass the time. Someday when I’m not busy…someday I’ll have time to paint.” Occasionally I would try to employ my time to creative endeavors, but the muses voice would soften to a whisper, then turn silent, while I focused my attention on other things. 

Eventually it hit me: I felt something was wrong. I knew I had something to say, I felt it in my bones. I needed to create work that would last, but my creative toolbox was empty with nothing left but bits of dust amongst oil residue. But that was enough; I had a desire and a hunger to create.

My wife could see I was struggling. Her connection to the real world and knowing how to articulate in words what I could not, she suggested that I pick up my brushes and paint again.  

I knew I couldn’t do it alone, so I sought instruction. I met up with a local artist who opened her studio to me and shared some of what she learned. Over the years, many other creatives have added to my understanding with learnings of their own.

With each conversation and opportunity, the tools began to reappear in my creative toolbox, and I started to hear the whisper of the muse again, coaxing me to create.

Today, I wake up each morning feeling inspired to search out themes and styles that will someday become a cohesive body of work. Each work I produce is a movement on the needle of my creative compass. With continued practice I intend to produce a body of work that I can share with others, while documenting how art connects us all and can bridge the gaps that keep us apart. 

Here is to pulling that worn paintbrush out of the closet and putting it back in your toolbox. Here is to making a conscious decision to live an artful life.