In the before times (eg: before I had kids) I used to really love art. Drawing, in specific. I took art all through high school and while I didn’t have any grand ideas of doing it professionally, it was certainly something I really thought I had a knack for (practice, practice, and more practice). Eventually as life progressed I got involved with someone who didn’t share that passion, didn’t encourage or motivate my skills, and while they never actively discouraged my artistic endevours, there simply wasn’t any place for it in my back-then life.
That was around 20 years ago, and my sketch books have gone unused for the better part of those 20 years.
The thing is, it’s part of who I am. I love drawing. I love art. I love landscapes and architecture in specific. I’m not really one for drawing characters or people (I suppose I’m a hermit even in my artwork) but I decided ‘why not’ even though so much time had passed. I’m almost 41, I have two kids, and a loving husband who encourages and motivates me in ways I had never dreamed of. A little over a year ago I started doing digital art as a means to compensate for my multiple sclerosis issues. My hands shake a lot some days, and I have a lot of pain. Digital art gives me some freedoms otherwise not allowed, and without needing so many ‘tools’ I was able to pick it up and put it down much easier.
Last year I completed a total of 50 pieces, almost one a week for the entire year (though that was not my schedule). This year I’d like to at least match that, and perhaps even surpass it. To date, I’ve done 14 pieces. Some large and involved, others just quick studies. I picked up some Udemy courses on digital painting, and I’ve been following along. I’m learning sometimes brushes matter – and sometimes they just don’t. Relying on my own artistic instinct has been incredible. I’m at the stage now where after just a few brush (pencil) strokes I can ‘phase’ into that artistic mindset where time passes and I’m completely unware.
My latest piece took almost 3 hours to complete, and it didn’t feel any longer than the ones that take me twenty. My hands of course know the difference and constantly remind me, but I’m hoping with time and (even more) practice that perhaps that will ease into a comfortable dull ache rather than the blindingly annoying pain I get now. I’m happy with my progress. I’m happy seeing my skills grow. Honestly? I’m just happy.
I do have a deviantART account that is quite ancient and filled with art from my entire lifetime (as it were) so if you’ve got one feel free to friend me there. I’m out of touch with where people are keeping their art these days, so I may shift my activity some place else over time but for now, that’s where I am. I have no goals at the moment to monetize this or to turn it into anything more than what it is – me finally doing something for myself, and working on a skill that gives me great joy. It just feels nice.