Art has always been my refuge – a sacred, secret place where I could step out of conceptual mind and express my most vulnerable feelings. Growing up in DC, and later as a student in Paris and London, museums felt to me like places of worship, or sources of nourishment.
When I was about six years old I told people, “When I grow up I’m going to be an artist.”
Then I didn’t.
For some reason I thought making art was too frivolous. I dated artists, I went to galleries to look at other artists’ work and read endless biographies about artists. But I never considered myself an artist. I thought it was enough to follow other artists.
Follow Your Heart
While I lived in Paris in my teens and again in my early thirties I painted, secretly. I lived in India for a year, and turned my whole house into a gallery, lining the walls with my watercolors. My heart knew I wanted to paint.
Still, I did not consider myself a real artist.
Discover Your Medium
Though I have been painting my whole life, when I recently discovered my medium my world changed overnight. A few months ago in Crestone I met an artist who teaches encaustics – an ancient technique using heated beeswax and resin combined with pigment. I fell in love with the technique on my first day…it was the medium I had been waiting for my whole life. Watercolor and acrylics and pastels were all fun, but they never allowed me to fully express myself.
Once I found my medium, my voice has naturally started to emerge. I’ve made a commitment to paint something every day. As a result, the universe has been responding in magical ways, sending me new opportunities on a daily basis.
Find Your Voice
I’m still waiting for the growing up part, but I finally accepted my six year old self’s prediction, and started focusing on making art. My voice is emerging more each day. It’s a process and I don’t really know where I’m going with it. But something significant changes when you start and commit to making what you love be the focus of your daily activity. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to make art all day, whether it is painting, playing with hot wax or writing.
So whatever it means for you to follow your heart, begin it today and be ready for magic!