Why Did I Start Painting Again?

by Victoria Landis on August 9, 2010

What made me start oil painting again?  Several friends asked me this.  I hadn’t picked up a brush and spread oils to create canvas paintings for many years.  The question made me think.  The real puzzle was – why did I ever stop?

After much self-analysis and cosmic naval-gazing, I found my answer.  I won’t bore you with the details, but the essence of it is – I let other people (some well-intentioned, some not) squash my ambitions.  Happens to too many of us.

But artists can only squelch the urge to create for so long.  Despite the discouragement, I couldn’t take it any more.  Visions of potential paintings swam in my dreams.  I missed the smell of oil paint and linseed oil.  I actually missed the odor of turpentine a little bit, too, however these days they have odorless mineral spirits.  I use that instead.

Why does anyone create anything?  Why is there music?  Dance?  Theater?  Sculpture?  Because some obsessed person wakes up at 2am and can not rest again until he/she gets what’s flitting around in their brain out into the world.

Humans have basic needs.  Along with air, water, food, and shelter, the expression of emotion and the celebration of the beauty of life are essentials as well.  We’ve always been that way.  Ancient cave paintings and intricate stitches or beading on the earliest garments show that.

I simply couldn’t keep it bottled up any more.

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