I am a big collector of quotes and as most of you know, the one by Oscar Wilde that I’ve included in all my emails for years now, is one of my favorites.
Well, here’s another passage that I recently stumbled upon that moved me to my core.
“Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get around to being the particular poet or the particular monk they are intended to be by God. They never become the man or the artist who is called for by all the circumstances of their individual lives. They waste their years in vain efforts to be some other poet, some other saint…They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor to have somebody else’s experiences or write somebody else’s poems.” —Thomas Merton (Trappist Monk, Author and Contemplative)
Back about 6 years ago when I was teaching myself to draw by participating daily in theEvery Day Matters Yahoo Group I would tune in every day, find out the subject to be painted that day, could be a pair of scissors or spool of thread. Well, I would watch everyone’s uploaded artwork, and within a fairly short time I came to recognize different artists’ work without checking to see who submitted it. There was something in that that really excited me. The uniqueness of each artist’s hand expressed – and I was privy to it.
Then the cat’s meow happened about 6 months in…a fellow mentioned one day that he “liked my style” – that was an omg moment! Seriously, I didn’t even know that I had a style up until that point….and that became a defining moment for me as an artist. I HAD A STYLE! Years later, of course, I know that I have a style, just like YOU do. And the more we paint and make art, like WE want to paint, like we are MOVED to paint, like our SOULS want to paint, the sooner our unique style emerges.
Be assured, my artsy pals, you DO have a style….and only YOU can produce it. So Paint On, my friends. YOU have a unique gift that only YOU have, and only YOU can express it in YOUR particular way.