Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{she does, does she?}

The Eternal Spring
The Eternal Spring
Acrylic and collage on canvas
20 x 30 inch
(one of the last paintings I've finished recently)

Before my insatiable love affair with book-binding began I used to paint!  Remember?

I've been having moments lately where I wonder if it's possible that I've reached the end of my journey with painting?  Could this even be so?

I feel torn when I think about it.  On one hand I can't imagine my life without painting.  Surely it couldn't be? Becoming a painter feels like one of my life's greatest achievements.  A dream made real.  It's captured my attention like no other pursuit ever has.

On the other hand I've sometimes felt burdened by an obligation to paint rather than a desire to do so this year.  It's been nice to let that go.  To embrace the fact that 'painting' and 'should' don't exist in the same sentence for me.

I suspect that I will continue to paint.  Surely?  I think I'm just enjoying a break.  Filling the well with other creative pursuits. 

But it sure feels strange.


  1. That would definitely feel strange, Cathy, and I can relate so much to this feeling.
    My two-cents worth is that as creatives, we all need a break sometimes from our "art" and find ourselves drawn to expressing ourselves in different ways.
    I go through stages where I can't possibly write another word, that words can't "say" what I want to say and I start thinking I would rather be a photographer... Then I get drawn back to my passion for words...
    So, I don't know the answer, but I agree with you about separating your art from "should". Never a good combo.
    btw I am loving seeing the books/journals you are creating. So clever.

    1. Thanks Megan, for all your thoughts. It's great to get some outside perspective. I know I just have to trust the journey.

  2. I too have these feelings. It doesn't have to be the end, you can write your own rules. Sometimes when something you love becomes a chore, it's good to step away.
    I like to put myself in the "Artistan" category. It's a broad term that means I can draw/paint/sew/crochet/bind books... ;)

    I owe you an email. sorry for the tardiness. off to reply now. x

  3. Hi Cathy, interesting to read about your experience. I reckon that I must be a bit of a crafty generalist...who has times of specialising (some might, more derogatorily, suggest, I have fads, or affairs). On my kids birth certificate, it asks for 'mothers occupation'- I earnestly (or maybe not earnestly) wrote 'paper maker'- because I was! If my kid was born at a different time it may have read 'soap maker', 'quilt making', 'photographer', 'weaver', 'sewist', 'bookbinder', 'scrap book maker'.(etc!) I think, though, I do keep coming back to fabric. And you may have affairs with other tempting mediums, but maybe (or not) paint might be your one true love. We'll all have to wait and see.

  4. Hi Cathy, you will paint again, when you are ready. I have just started painting again after about 2 months off, and boy does it feel great! I did finish something during this time and I'm so unhappy with it that it's about to painted over! I feel that when I'm making (crafting) things I can't paint, there must be different compartments inside our heads and I can only use one or the other, so much for thinking I'm a multi-tasker! S:)

  5. I agree with Megan and Kitty - this is why I am a Creative Beast. I like learning new things which often inspires other creative work I do, such as fibers from knitting inspire binding books, collage inspires mixing yarns to knit with or mail art postcards. I think you are simply moving into a new learning phase which is consuming all your excitement and creativity right now and I'm sure that you will return to painting with a fresh perspective when you are ready, so enjoy the ride! =-)

  6. It all looks pretty congruent to me: you're an artist.