Wisdom Wednesdays are usually quotes from others that I’ve found inspiring through the years. However, I just came across some writings of mine written in 1997 and in 1995 that I wanted to share. This is the third of those, written in 1997:
I’m just finishing a painting of the trees in my neighborhood, which nicely fits both things I think of when I sit down to write about “My Block”: my painting block, and the place where I live, although it’s not really a block.
I live at the base of a greenbelt, just a few hundred yards from the bay. There are no sidewalks, it looks like the country, we have foxes, eagles, great blue herons and owls living among us and I’m just 15 minutes from downtown Seattle.
Then the other: the painting block. I quit painting 26 years ago. I quit because I no longer had the time nor the energy for it, since I was working my way up in corporate America and the practicality of earning a living took precedence. So I blocked out painting. I had to, otherwise it hurt too much to leave it behind.
But I’ve found my way back and I’m no longer blocked. I’m painting my neighborhood trees in these chunks of abstract shadow and light and I’m painting my life back. Because painting is what I’m about. To my core. Without it life dried up to a brittle husk and there was no meaning left–no magic–only money and “comfort” and practicality, which is no life.
So in many ways, I’m grateful to the painting block because without it I wouldn’t have been able to see, in retrospect, what painting’s loss meant. And I never could have known what it feels like to quit the drudgery of practicality for the flight of creative freedom within my own being–never could have experienced the scream of exhilaration and passion that has exploded in me, forcing me to see clearly that it is practicality that isn’t practical for me. For me it’s practical to paint, to express my soul in light and form, living here in the woods outside of Seattle.