Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

I consider myself extremely lucky to have found my passion early on, when I was a child. Only I didn't realize it then.  I would draw draw draw all the time, try to paint, play with paper. In school, I could still listen to my teachers while I doodled all over my notebooks. I was the one on the cheer squad who was in charge of making the posters advertising the week's games.  In college I was even in charge of the bulletin boards all along the main hall.

But I never considered making a living at it, it was just something I did.

Then, I was in England studying. We discussed paintings of Anthony van Dyck and composition and implied line, and were told to go to London to see his Charles I On Horseback in person at the National Gallery. As I stood in front of this huge painting, at least 12 feet tall and 12 feet wide, it took my breath away. Then I felt like crying. Then I knew that I had to do this, study-paint-explore art, for my life 's work.  It was my light bulb moment, or as Oprah would say, my aha moment. (My counselor was a bit panicked when I returned to campus my senior year and told her I wanted to change my major from psychology to art).

Charles I on horseback - Anthony van Dyck

And that's what I've done. Worked all sorts of odd jobs (I'll save that for another day) but making things has been my constant. I've found that I feel at odds if I DON'T do something creative -- paint, draw, cut, glue -- every day.  And I love teaching for this reason -- helping kids (and others) find their passion early on, and explore it. I know many people my age, late 40s, who haven't figured out what their thing is, the thing that makes them excited and happy and curious. I am so very grateful that I found mine early on. Boredom does not exist in my world.