I started out as a fine arts major in college. I loved creating art, all kinds. I loved painting, drawing, sculpture, everything. It wasn’t until I was asked in my sophomore year what kind of job I was thinking about getting that got me wondering about actually supporting myself with art. Someone suggested I take some radio-TV-film classes to discover “artistic” jobs, and the rest is history. I went into television, and my fine arts faded away.
Fast forward a few decades. Peace Corps daughter came barreling home from her travels to beat out the closing of borders from the Covid19 virus. There we were, sheltering at home together, with my hubby and our LA daughter whose FOMO would not let her shelter anywhere but with us. And PC daughter brought art to us. Although always musical, while in Thailand, she had discovered her artistic side, and she brought it full force to our quarantine.
Pretty soon art supplies, canvases and card stock began arriving in smiling Amazon packages. And while we all protested that we were not artists, she assured us that deep within us dwelt our imaginative sides. Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m a creative. I’m a writer, I love music, and over the years my artistic side came out in my home, garden, and projects. But she was talking about paint.
She inspired me. One day, standing in our outdoor shower, I noticed for the billionth time that my neighbor’s “natural” landscape- untouched in the 7 years we’ve lived here- had grown so tall, that there was no longer any privacy. I furtively glanced about as I rinsed my hair, hoping as usual that my neighbor and his wife would not pick this moment to wander in their jungle. And I got an idea. Privacy panels, fitted into the trellis by our shower, painted in a botanical theme. Suddenly the vision appeared in my head. Remembering my outdoor shower in Florida, with its painted black and white floors, and clever, colorful plants in huge pots, I knew what to paint.
My daughter and I started to work. Every time I’d yelp “Oh noooo!” she would calmly reassure me. And what do you know? My artsy side started to tiptoe out. Before I knew it, I was looking forward to going out and painting another layer, another texture. And voila- we now have privacy panels that I will enjoy every time I take a shower. I love them!
No matter what we’ve done with our lives up until now, we can find the secret door, turn the key, and let our creative side out. It’s there! I know … you’re not creative, you’re not artsy, you’re colorblind or you can’t draw a stick figure. There are so many reasons to not do it, but a really good reason to say yes. This is for you. We were all so creative as children, one way or another, and then we “matured” out of it, or were told we weren’t artistic, or we told ourselves we weren’t any good. And we left it behind. But creativity feeds your soul.
As empty nesters, we have a little more freedom, and sometimes, more time. With the pandemic, we all have a little more of both. I encourage you to use it to discover creativity. Music, art, writing, whatever. It’s not that my murals are so great. It’s that I did it. With a little help from my art muse. I’ll remember that every time I shower. In complete privacy. Aaaah.
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