Do More of the Things You Love

My painting ‘career’ started about 4 years ago when I finally got around to signing up for a local 8-week art course. We tried drawing, some pastels, watercolour and acrylic, and by the end I was hooked and didn’t want to stop.

I look back at my early efforts which I was so proud of and, whilst rudimentary, I’m still proud of them in a way and I think it’s because I got off my backside and finally got on with something I’d wanted to have a go at for ages. I really enjoyed it. I was hungry to get better at this painting malarkey and soon the shelves were filling up with ‘how to’ books, I was signing up for local courses and following YouTube videos at every opportunity. My painting table was joined by an easel which ended up in my office, which morphed into my studio, and still there wasn’t enough space for the latest art materials turning up at my door. Believe me when I say, no artist’s studio is ever big enough – it just gets filled to the brim in no time, every time!

Finally the day came when I felt confident enough to produce my own work based on my own source material rather than copying, and I felt I had sufficient practical knowledge to experiment, try new media, break the rules and be more daring.

Years ago, friends often told me they didn’t see me as an accountant and couldn’t understand how I’d got into that line of work. It certainly didn’t make me happy and I did some extreme things to escape but I never knew what I wanted to do instead. Painting certainly didn’t occur to me and if it had, it would have been dismissed immediately. It wasn’t going to pay the bills was it?

Now approaching my 60s, I regret all the time before that I wasn’t painting, experimenting, being creative and absolutely loving what I’m doing. So I make sure to make the most of the time I have now; immersing myself as much as I can in everything I love and keeping the rest to the necessary minimum. Had I tried more things, and very different things, to what I was used to, I may have discovered my love of painting far sooner and have had more time in my life to dedicate to it. My message to you? Open yourself up, give unusual things that have nothing to do with your current life a go, and you may find something you love or more things that you love. The more experiences you have, the more opportunity you have of being fulfilled. As Brené Brown tells us, “time is a precious, unrenewable resource.” Make it count.