Born Again at 53
What would you do if you were born already knowing how to paint and draw? Would you like to know that one person--me--has been born again, this time with ready-made art skills? Do you care? You should. This is the phenomenon of mid-life, female artists. More than half of the population on earth is female. We are not unique but our art is rare in the upper echelons of the art world. Why? I believe it is because many women--made by god, made by nature-- are care givers, keepers of the psyche, emotional confidants, rescuers, protectors, lovers, and helpers. We want to help you, love you, care for you. We care about others, we share, we give. Women are not only this, but yes, they are this.
How we are made often lead us to forsake our own pursuits for the greater good of our loved ones. After my BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University, I worked for about five years in the graphic arts, and then married, had children, "settled down" and gave up all my own pursuits to give everything to my family. This is what I wanted to do. I did it.
Was that the best thing for me to do? Probably not. Perhaps it was easier to focus on others instead of myself. I put off all those existential questions: Am I good enough? Can I make it? It took all that uncertainty, anxiety, out of the picture. My certainty was what was best for the family, and whether it was a mistake or not, this is how I find myself born again into the art world at 53. My children are grown, my husband needs space, but most importantly, I need space, I need growth, I need care, love, support. And I need to express and create. I always have. Now I am emerging from that womb of self-denial; the path is painful, but life is so worth it.
A studio now exists--a space of my own. Paintings line the walls around me. History lives in the brush strokes, palette knife swipes, scratchings, scraping-aways. Ghosts of paintings that once graced canvases lean against the wall. It's good to know that there is a history; I have already been re-born. The delivery was long but today I can look at what has been produced and know that yes, I am on my way.
Because I was born so old, things have to happen fast. Already know how to draw; already know how to paint pictures of things. There's no time to waste. It's time now to be an artist. You will find me experimenting, and things will change. But you will always know I am reaching down inside me, inside my guts, through my heart, around my head, and placing on canvas or board the unique expressions of one artist. Like snowflakes--we are all different. My beauty, my mystery, my terror. It will all be there, and it will be mine. Yet...yet...a gift to the world still. How cool is that?