You can count the number of paintings I did during the first 49 years of my life on a doughnut. In the past two weeks, I’ve painted more than a dozen. I have always loved art, but never had the nerve to try it on my own. It’s like I was a latent artist my entire life, met some pretty paint, then immediately started dancing in every Artist Pride parade I could find. Metaphors aside, the decision to start painting has been life-changing, to say the least.
I get up early every day to lay down a couple of colors. I start throwing paint the moment I get home from work. I spend every spare moment splattering images from my psyche onto sheets of acrylic. I am not the man I used to be, but it feels like I’m once again moving in a direction of becoming the man I am supposed to be.
I wouldn’t say I’ve lived a conservative life, so most people won’t be totally surprised by my new painting passion. My friends will put it down as another odd endeavor from a man with a long list of odd endeavors. My enemies will shake their heads and file it away as further evidence of my insanity — just another mark in the ledger of proof that I cannot take the real world seriously.
Coming out as an artist gives me almost the same feeling I had decades ago when I publicly declared to my family and friends that I could no longer be a Christian because it didn’t make sense to me any longer. I reached a point where I was tired of pretending I was part of that belief system and realized I had to commit to finding my own path in my relationship with the Divine. Other than reminding me of the damnation of my eternal soul, folks took my decision pretty well.
And if you have read any of my previous blogs, you know that I believe there is something divine connected to creating and appreciating art.
So how does a person, after half a century of never even mentioning it, communicate to people he holds dear, that a passion in painting he started two weeks ago is a lasting and valid one? That after working his ass off to complete law school in his late 40s while holding down a full-time job, he would rather paint abstract pieces of art than study for the bar exam a third time? That if he could design a perfect second act to his life, it would be painting and writing and tending to his beehives and eating fruit picked from a nearby tree?
Communicating it is simple. You confess it to your 22-year-old daughter and she posts it on facebook.
There’s no going back now.
So, while I’m on a roll, I’ll just go ahead and put another thing about me to rest.
Yes, I’m also a socialist.