Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Inspiration, Marriage, and Art

(Artwork done before I was married...circa 2008)
In a month I will have been married for 4 years...where does the time go?! But alas, this is not a post about time, but rather inspiration. Before I was married, or even seriously dating (Andy and I only dated for 3-months before we married, yes another story for another day.) I was quite the artistic person. Not saying I was good or anything, but I was full of inspiration and I usually surfed that inspiration wave into artistic bliss.

Some artistic background here. My grandmother (mom's side) was an artist for the majority of her life. In Rhode Island, where she mostly lived, she was quite the well known artist. She painted everything from still life, to historic buildings and parks, to scenery...everything really. In fact, my family still has over 50 of her paintings...maybe more. Every time we visited her growing up, she would have an easel with canvas and paint for each of my brothers and me. We would all sit and paint together in her home gallery. I loved it! Usually I painted ice-cream cones, but sometimes I ventured into other areas like flowers or trees.

(Artwork I did as a kid, probably about 6th grade.)
My grandmother was the artistic base of my family, but both of my parents had their fair share of creativity as well. My mom was a great sketcher. She was always sketching little people with funny thought bubbles. My dad was more creative in a 3D way, with building things out of wood. Growing up around constant creativity allowed me to fully express myself in colorful ways. I was never as good of a drawer or painter as my little brother, and I definitely couldn't cartoon like my older brother, but that was never an issue. We were all encouraged by my parents and we each felt like our art was great.

Shortly after I got married I decided to spend some of the time that I was unemployed and looking for a job, getting back into art. I wanted to combine painting with photography. While working on my first piece I asked Andy what he thought and he straight up laughed, then he proceeded to make fun of my art. I was aghast, shocked, hurt! No one had ever laughed or made fun of my art. No matter how crazy or silly my artwork had been in the past, my family was fully supportive and positive towards it. Andy's reaction shocked and stunned me. I stopped the artwork immediately and didn't even look at any of my art materials until just a month ago. That is 4-years with no painting or drawing in my life. I don't know how I did it and quite frankly, I have been afraid to go back to it since Andy made fun of it. It is funny how something as simple as liquid pigment on paper can be so personal.

So you may be wondering, why go back to it now after 4-years? Well...I recently got a job at an art shop and gallery. When I sit at work and stare at artwork from local artists and all the art supplies that we sell, the inspiration comes pouring back in. I get that excitement for art that I haven't had in 4 years. Finally, I have unpacked all of my art supplies that I have been lugging from place to place each time we move. The supplies came out, the inspiration was overflowing, and I started. This time I was prepared for the laughing when it came. Yes, Andy still makes fun of my art. We have fought and talked and yes, I even threatened divorce if he makes fun of my artwork anymore. Slowly, he is changing his comments. He doesn't understand artwork because he didn't grow up around it the way that I did. He also doesn't understand how personal it can be.

All in all, I am happy and excited to be back at painting. I have decided to take myself outside of my comfort box and try new abstract things. It is exciting and I am really enjoying a more spontaneous go of painting this time rather than the planned out precise geometric pieces I would do before. I am having fun re-engaging in an old passion and discovering new things about myself. I think my grandmother would be proud...and as for my husband, well, he will come around one of these days.

(A current piece that I just finished!)


  1. I love your new piece!!! What are your materials and how big is it?

    1. Thank you! :) It is about 11x14 and a variety of materials were used: acrylic paint, newspaper, sharpie, pastel, and crayon. :)