1. Very beautiful and moving Nancy.
    I have felt this call all my life. It is continuing on and into other areas. As we live and learn and understand that we are all going to die, there is a need to express our innermost selves. To whom? To ourselves? To our family? To the World? Mostly, I believe, it is because we are made in the image of the Great Creator…Call it God or whatever name you want to…we have it in our DNA to want something bigger than ourselves., and to be noticed and affirmed… Some are affirmed by music, some literature, some accounting.etc. etc. , but there is a deep need to let “ourself” out. For me, I can “let myself out in paint”. but it is not always satisfying. In fact, mostly, it is not., And that I believe is because the culture places money as the objective., Not the process. We are not “valued” because we just “paint” or crochet or write poetry or stories. We only value ourselves and feel esteemed if we Sell, or are published, and if other people see that we sell. How sad., What if we just went back to how the cave men drew and painted. Wouldn’t that be satisfying? Unfortunately, the cat is out of the bag., and our times and culture demand to see value. I, for one, love it when I sell a painting, or a drawing or get a commission for a mural in a dining room or a child’s room. It is fun to see it take shape and have the people be happy and then to collect the check and take it home. But ultimately, it is not as satisfying or as much fun as to take a few hours and paint in my studio as experiments to some beautiful classical music. Thank you Nancy, for actually awakening me to the fun of experimental work.. !Diane

    • Thank you so much, Diane. I love what you wrote about creating for the sake of creating. It’s been said that people truly appreciate classical music only when they feel the chill of the grave. I think as we’re increasingly aware of our mortality, we seek a feeling of aliveness and meaning in our lives. We want to understand and affirm ourselves and feel that our lives mean something. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and kindness, Diane.

  2. Thank you Nancy…….it is always encouarging to know that i am not alone in doughting myself and my talent. I have come to believe that we cannot expect success to be easy. I often remind myself that i should be happy to have created a wonderfully successful painting in one of ten! Next week or next month i can revisit these mediocre works and find a new route to success on them! Sometimes it takes a year! 😁

    • You’re welcome Joan. I love what you wrote about allowing for 1 in 10 paintings to work out. We’re not going to love every one of our paintings. In this way, painting mirrors life. At the same time, the journey is the way. We can always revisit the works that we feel are mediocre and have a “conversation” with them. Thanks so much for writing, Joan.

  3. Nancy, Thank you for posting this. I needed this today. So, identify with Dante’s words. Having painted so much and gone through so much that does not make sense. Having received awards and having sold paintings I am coming to the place again why do I paint? Usually, means to go deeper. Life circumstances have been rough for quite awhile now. I so appreciate your words and thoughtfulness Diane. I guess that going through things in this life is how we touch people with the meaning of art!

  4. Nancy it is so refreshing to read this it is as if you know me personally! Evertytime I begin a lesson, watch a video, or read an article from you I am immediately reminded that my art the way I see and paint is ok. I don’t need to know how to draw I don’t need to be able paint figuratively. I just need to express what is inside me. I can bank you for that.

  5. Hi…wise words Nancy. I’ve always had a yearning to be creative and produce artwork which is noteworthy and yet all my life I’ve been unable to commit fully to creative exploration except for my years at uni away from work, 2000 to 2005 . We’re all so busy trying to ensure we earn enough for our families. I’ve enjoyed being a science teacher and I had the opportunity to take the creative road when I qualified way back but art wasn’t in vogue then. I’m certainly enjoying your workshop and still wonder if I should swop to acrylic but feel reluctant since watercolour/ mixed media offers so much visually to me.

    • Thank you, Lynne. I think the more we can let go of outcome, the freer and more experimental we become. Thank you for your kind words about the workshop. I’m delighted to have you in there. I encourage you to work with the materials you love. I worked in watercolor for years (still do) and I love, love, love it. There’s nothing quite like it.

  6. Your Hero’s Journey post comes at an opportune time for me, I learned long ago that I just had to jump. Meaning to let go of all ideas and techniques and just paint. I had forgotten again, so this was a great reminder. I have found that some of my best paintings come from just letting go.

  7. Thank you for your blog I enjoyed it. It speaks to my desire to connect my art experience with life experience. To find meaning and move through challenges while becoming more.

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