Most of us say these days that we paint for relaxation, don’t we. We used to talk about our hobbies, but nowadays you rarely hear that term used, as young people love to consider their mental health, their need to relax, the pressure of life and social media, and much much more. Long gone are the days when we could simply say we paint because we enjoy it. That’s too simple.
So I thought I’d keep it real and say in this blog post why I paint, and have always painted.
I think I began to draw at about the age of two, when I was first able to pick up a pencil. I came from a very poor family and there wasn’t much spare cash for art supplies and I had to make do with very little. I remember getting a paintbox for Christmas one year. I remember having paint by numbers – remember those tiny little pots of paint? I had a Paint On Velvet kit one year, which was a red rose on black velvet. Those were the days!
When I was about nine I used to take the bus to the nearest town and visit the museum there. I used to sit and sketch the exhibits, especially the Stone Age artifacts and stuffed birds. I must have made a strange sight, a young girl with a pencil and a pad of paper studiously drawing the things in the glass cases.
At school art and craft was my favourite subject but I was steered away from it as a career as I was considered too bright to waste myself on art. Years later I returned to oils after getting married but before the children arrived, but then came a long hiatus as I struggled to make a living and raise the kids.
So it was only much later that I picked it up again after a serious illness. So that’s why I ended up painting – fate threw me under a bus and my rescuer was my paintbox!
I’d love to hear your stories about why you paint in the comments below or on Facebook.