I decided to rejoin the artists' fraternity after decades of absence. I mean, do I have a choice? I left my engineering job in an automotive parts plant after an extension of one year from the official retirement age when they told me my time's up. And because I was getting bored and tired of the daily grind I was happy the decision was made for me by the downward spiraling global economy.
I've so wanted to go back to painting and creating art pieces. Over the years I managed to squeeze out a few random pieces of water colors. Other than those, inspiration was hard to come by. The stress of work and the cares of raising a family managed to keep me away from my drawing board.
Then I decided I need to generate some income from my art to keep me going. So I thought, apart from painting what my heart tells me to paint, I should try to paint something the public would like to have.
And what is it that anybody would be happy to have hanging on his wall or in his room? His portrait of course. Or maybe the portrait of his loved one. OK, that's what I think. No, not just my opinion. Almost everyone who heard I'm into art asked me if I do portraits. My answer has always been negative. So, now I can safely say, I'm working on it.
Ah... would that be prostituting my art? Well, I don't think so. Painting portraits is a demanding skill. You have to create a like image of someone on paper or canvas and you have to reflect the person's personality and character in that image. Well, that's what they say.
So, here goes. My first piece (after wiping the layers of dust off my drawing board) was a pathetic pencil rendition of my maternal grandpa. The only image I can refer to is a digital copy of a postcard sized photo of him when he was probably in his forties.
That's for a start. Pencil work is fairly easy. You can correct errors quickly without fuss. But I've moved into using water color. Water color, as every artist knows, is a difficult medium.
But I love the challenge.
And here's my 20th piece of struggling with pencil and watercolor. Way to go, and a long way to go in my new career, with perhaps a solo exhibition to mark my entry into the art world, say, in a couple of years down the road. Optimistic, am I?
I have to be. I remember those hard and hungry years when I found myself at the bottom. I had nowhere else to go but up. Sometimes I feel that I'm there again. But then those were times when we had five hungry mouths to feed. Now that there are only the two of us I'm not too worried.
"Art is a jealous mistress, and, if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband, and an ill provider." Waldo Waldo Emerson said that. And that's what kept me and Art apart all these years. It's not applicable anymore. At least to me.