I decided today that I am a painter.
Last week, as I registered for school I struggled with balance between work and school. At it’s simplest…I feel guilty to be going to art school. I feel guilty and even silly to call myself an artist. Who gets to decide that? I am not a very good artist, yet. Maybe I will never be. I don’t know. The guilt is not helping.
Give up the guilt? If it were that easy. When people learn I am in school they ask, “what are you studying?” I know they expect me to day something practical, like nursing or accounting. I know they do because they have told me so. When I answer art, there’s a pause, then nothing. And I try to explain…’pipe dream”, “always wanted to do this”, or worse “I know it’s not practical, but…”
I am ashamed of my lack of conviction.
But this morning, as I stood at my easel, painting cold white figures, the oil was warm on my canvas and every stroke was living and new and right. Right in a soul confirming way. This is what I am supposed to be doing.
In that moment, I decided, I am painter. I am over forty and I have been painting for less than a year; I have no skill; I have no idea how to properly clean and care for my brushes, I’ve never stretched a canvas, or finished an oil painting, but I am a painter. I am a painter.