I have been in love with painting and drawing ever since I was a toddler. They say that play is a child’s primary language, and I believe that making ART is an Artist’s primary language, just as making MUSIC is a musician’s primary language. I painted, sculpted and drew more than I talked or read or sang from the ages of three to twenty two. At twenty two, I went through some type of identity foreclosure ( aka Eric Erikson’s stages of ego identity), and decided that I was born to be a Psychologist and not an Artist (as I had believed up until that point in time). I worked diligently to tamp down my creative impulses so that I could prove to myself and the world that I could be a great psychologist. I still doodled and make craft like objects, but only rarely picked up a paintbrush, and when I did, all I got was ‘MUD’. I seemed to have forgotten my native tongue. When I turned 50 in 2006, suddenly I felt like I couldn’t pretend any more. Almost immediately after my mother died of lung cancer in November of 2006, I started needing to sculpt and draw and color. It was a need I could no longer resist indulging. I started out making things out of material, then started painting mandalas, some of which I needlepointed on frames. Finally, in 2008, when my son and husband were out of town for a school related event, I bought a large canvas and some acrylic paint and created a large painting of canoes meandering through a Fjord in Norway. The image just came to me, the way images did when I was young and in love with Art. From 2008 to 2012, I struggled with powerful internal obstacles such as fear, doubt, worry and self-critical thoughts. Finally, I actually created a painting that I liked. It had gone through multiple stages and took over a year to complete. It was an oil painting that I called ‘Pentimento’ because I could see through it to multiple previous incarnations. I ended up submitting it to a Charity Auction and it sold! That was the fall of 2012. I’ve been painting up a storm ever since. I still forget a lot but I am slowly re-learning my native language. The language of ART!
This article was written by SJP
I started painting as a young child and gave it up at age 22 due to vision problems as well as sensitivies to the chemicals in oil paints. I pursued a career as a Clinical Psychologist for 30 years got married twice, and raised a child, but knew deep inside that ‘something was still missing’ . I started painting again in 2008, started showing my work in 2013, and have been slowly but surely developing my adult painting style in my sixties. Looking forward to 30 more years of happy ‘Arting’!