I went to a PSI Basic Seminar Introduction evening at the invitation of a dear friend. During my conversation with the presenter that evening, she asked me a great question: “Why are you not making your living through selling your paintings?” In that moment I recognized a pattern in me. Instead of embracing my gift of painting and moving forward in living my life as an artist, I have continually chosen to pursue other paths, always with the intention of creating liberty for myself so I could spend my time in creativity…painting. What an observation!!!
My PPN’s are Liberty and Recognition for Creative Expression.
The back story… I share this because sometimes the beliefs we grow up with just aren’t true, and once aware of this, our lives can radically change.
As a child, in grade 2/3, I entered an art contest, and I won! That was very affirming! However, all the kids in my class said I cheated. I didn’t cheat. I was traumatized by the accusations, and somehow, I grew up thinking that I couldn’t draw. This saddened me. I remember doing a paint-by-numbers horse painting at home, and loving it! I was great at coloring and painting by numbers, but since “I couldn’t draw”, I never pursued art beyond this. Not in school. Not anywhere.
Fast forward 33 years. Because it was my childhood dream to record an album, I asked a friend how he learned to write songs. He told me about Julia Cameron’s 12 week program, The Artist’s Way. Working through this program was a life changing unfoldment for me.
For example, I’m going for a walk one day, and the thought comes to my mind, “Take a painting class.” Weird. Where’d that come from? Well, I found out the town I was living in had an art store, so I went there and talked to a lady who taught watercolor painting classes. I liked her and signed up for her class.
First class. She has us sketch a barn. She came to see my drawing, and commented, “You have natural ability.” I looked at it, and said to myself, “I think I do.” Something shifted in me.
The next class I started my first painting, and finished it the next. I paid to have that painting professionally framed. Why? My beliefs were transformed. I really could draw! I could paint!
I was in Richmond, BC for a few days and going for a walk in Minoru Park. I captured some of its beauty in photos I took. When I flew home to Alberta, I put together a composition from those photos, and painted my first original painting.
A lady I had met at an event saw this painting and wanted to buy it. She told me, “I know this painting is going to be worth a lot when you are famous.” So I sold my first original painting. The fifth painting I had ever done.
My second original painting sold. It was another original composition from those photos I took in Minoru Park. This buyer also told me, “I know this painting is going to be worth a lot when you are famous.” I was flying to Vancouver, BC to deliver this painting, and the guy in the seat next to me asked to see it when we landed. Upon seeing it, he commissioned me to do the painting he had been wanting done. This was my seventh painting in my life.
I took another one day painting class, and then I stopped painting. Why? I do not know.
Fast forward another 9 years. I was in Kauai for Christmas vacation. I found myself going into art studios. In one studio, I fell in love with a painting. I wrestled for 3 days…do I buy it, or not? It was of significant expense and I didn’t have the money, but the gallery owner said I could pay it off over time. In fact, I could take 5 years to pay it off, if necessary. Of course, I would not be able to take the painting home until I paid for it completely.
I made my decision by comparing the painting to my music album. At that time, my album was 5 years old. If I was to record the album at this point in time, I would record some of the same songs that I recorded 5 years earlier, but not all of them. I was in a different place in my life now. I reasoned that it would be the same with this painting. Five years from now, I will be in a different place in my life. Would I still love the painting as much? Would it still hold the same inspiration for me? I decided it wouldn’t, and therefore, chose not to go ahead with the purchase.
It was in this moment that I had the idea of me painting a painting for myself. My thoughts over the next few days lingered here.
A few days later I was in another art gallery, where I saw many beautiful paintings, all by the same artist. I wrote down the artist’s name, Googled it, and then sent this gentleman an email.
I told him I loved his paintings and that I would love to come back to Hawaii to celebrate my 50th birthday in 10 months and inquired if he taught painting lessons, and would he teach me. His reply was that he loved my music, had bought my album on iTunes, and yes, he would teach me. Wow! Incredible!
The idea was now forming into a plan.
To be continued… I’ll carry on with the story next week.
The revealing thing to me is that my childhood beliefs are ultimately still running the show. Even though many people have said the same things to me–you are gifted – you are supposed to be painting – this is your calling–in my mind I’m still running with “I don’t know how to paint.” How could I make my living painting?
Doing the MKMMA course has brought to the forefront of my mind that Recognition for Creative Expression is one of my personal pivotal needs. As well, in reading Standing Tall, during 2 weeks of a visualization exercise, a magnificent intention around my painting came into clear vision. A portion of that vision is what I shared with the PSI Basic Seminar presenter, which then prompted her question, ‘Why are you not making your living painting?”, which in turn revealed this pattern in me of continuously denying myself my calling.
In the last week, very cool things are showing up around my painting, which I’m excited to share in next week’s blog.