Today the sun rose and the sun set but, oh, can you guess what happened in between? My private student, Betty, BEGAN TO PAINT–to really paint! She’s 77 years old and has wanted to her whole life. She’s dabbled in a little watercolor before, but nothing focused or ongoing, nothing she’s felt was meaningful or real. She’s wanted to change that, so we’ve spent the last three months doing Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, to make ready for this moment and it happened today. It was exhilarating to be there!
Betty was nervous, as we all are approaching our art, and it was so wonderful to watch her lose that nervousness, getting lost in the discovery of her own process. It was as though she was taken by a miracle: Time dropped away and she was 7 years old, captivated, animated, playful, free. I believe every painter has her own “stroke”, kind of like our signature, and Betty was seeing hers for the first time. The opacity of the medium was a revelation to her. You really can’t make a mistake with acrylics because you can paint over anything! She was no longer scared but, rather, curious. I could feel her heart leap with adventure. This is why I teach.
It was a quiet happening, here in Truchas, on a snowy day, mid-winter. But it was not small. It was a spirit’s crying, “YES! Finally YES!” Today Betty did more than begin to paint; she embraced her artist self. She took a step toward her true north. She agreed, on a soul level, that this is it. She is a painter and she will paint. Period.
I know many of you reading this blog understand what a big deal this is, because some of you are yearning to begin too. I’m telling you about Betty not only so you can celebrate with her, but because I want you to be inspired by her. Whatever your age, 20, 45, 80, follow Betty’s lead. Take the plunge! PAINT!