Re-Becoming an Artist

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abstract acrylic stripe painting

Along the lines of making myself write every day, I have been re-connecting with a regular art practice. It’s been centuries since I made art in anything but fits and bursts, so this is a big one.

I can’t admit to art-making every day yet, but hopefully I’ll habit my way into that way of life. Seriously, though, how much time do I have to make and write when there’s SO MUCH to scroll through on Instagram?

I’m trying to not think of social media and email as my arch enemies, and rather learn to allow them into my life in scheduled moderation. How addicted are you guys? Isn’t it crazy how quickly all of this computer and phone bullshit can become the first things we think of turning to, in virtually every situation? Even sex. Don’t you just love to Netflix and screw?

I’m trying to remind myself to think like I did when I was a kid and go flop on my belly on the floor and color, or hole up somewhere and read a book. Just thinking of doing these things makes me feel warm inside. Conversely, thinking about hopping online for an hour does not fill me with the happy.

Another thing that fills me with the happy? PAINTING!

I can’t believe how many times while painting I have muttered to myself something along the lines of, ‘this is so fun’, or ‘oh my god look at that color next to that one oh my god.’

 

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I feel so happy every time I look at my wall of little striped paintings that I’ve made so far, all lined up and exploding with color. And the best part? I didn’t copy anyone, I didn’t make what I thought would sell well, I didn’t follow any trend, and I’m enjoying the hell out of myself.

See the trend from yesterday’s post? Boy do I get in my head a lot.

The last time I regularly made paintings, from around ages 25-32, I got into an awful rut where I was selling pretty much anything I could paint, so I became a slave to production. I eventually tried to joylessly churn out the paintings while working an exhausting full time job and making my bar rounds in the evenings with my girl gang.

I’m guarding my creative sanity this time, and finding so much pleasure in the reawakening. Being in my 40’s definitely has its mental advantages.

abstract acrylic paintings by Jeanette Nyberg

It also pushes you of course, to do something meaningful before you croak, so I’m taking this stuff seriously – the important stuff. You know it when it tugs at you. What’s your important stuff?

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4 Comments

  1. Cyndy R
    11/03/2018 / 10:32 am

    You are so right about the 40s. Actually I hit it in my mid-40s. I’m 48 (almost 49) and it was just 2 years ago that, after making art/craft in fits and bursts through my raising small children years (2 now grown, 2 still home), I had a reawakening of my art self and I started to make art earnestly and regularly. It’s so awesome. And I do feel that push of “I am at least halfway through this life and I have some shit I want to do so git ‘er done!” I am enjoying it so much. But I do have those days of insecurity and bad voices trying to push me down, but I push right back because I gotta be me and I love making art and no one is going to stop me ever again. Damn. I dropped out of college where I was working on a BFA at the beginning of the 90s due to a depression that I didn’t know was depression and I had no one helping me figure it out so it was just a cut and run scenario and I never went back. That will always be a bummer to me, but I wouldn’t have this wonderful family I have if I had finished so i’ll take them over the degree :-). Now I am doing art my way, learning my way, which is my favorite way. I don’t have to earn a living at it, so that is a blessing. Now I think I am starting to ramble. So I will say TTFN, ta-ta for now! Thanks Tigger, you rock. 🙂

    • Jeanette
      Author
      11/04/2018 / 1:18 am

      WOOOOOOW I really hit something with you with this post, eh? And this is awesome with a capital A: “but I push right back because I gotta be me and I love making art and no one is going to stop me ever again.” Also, we have a lot of similarities in that I also am 48, and I also went through a horrible depression during college in the beginning of the 90s. I’ve been meaning to write about this, so what better time than November? <3

  2. 11/04/2018 / 7:05 pm

    At 49 (the closest thing to 50 without going over—-say that like Bob Barker) I am trying to remember how to art (or maybe even craft). I have read three books in the past two weeks while I try to figure it out, apparently forgetting how much I loved doing that. As a new empty nester it is weird to be interrupted by pretty much nothing

    • Jeanette
      Author
      11/06/2018 / 5:05 pm

      What are the books? I’d love to know- it’s weird to try to pick up hobbies or interests after focusing so much time and energy on kids, right? Kinda like starting over… I choose to enjoy it 🙂

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