I think this is the hardest part...telling why I do this. After hours and hours, spent writing it down, I read it and re-read it and it always falls short: too far to the left or right ... too self-conscious, over-thought, over-explained, under-explained ... and, in the end, it always just boils down to the simple fact that I do it because I can't help it. It keeps me happy, relatively sane and out of the funny farm ... or jail.
But ... I can tell you my favorite parts of doing it ... I love lines and colors. I love the human form. I love what light does and the challenge and reward of recreating the illusion. I love the magic of inspiration using me as conduit...the miracle of a thought or feeling or vision becoming suddenly or painstakingly tangible. I love getting dirty hands and paint on my face. I love it when someone finds something of themselves or for themselves, in an image that I realized. I love the solitude of the process. I love blank sheets of 300 lb. watercolor paper. I love sharp pencils and new pointy brushes, and old scruffy brushes. I love the smell of turpentine, but not all the time. I love it when a painting paints itself. I love my sketchbooks, ink spilled on the floor, new kneaded erasers, 5 minute figure studies, getting lost in working, painting all day outside, making a mess in the studio and cleaning up the studio so I can start a new mess.
I love my family for letting me have space for this in my life. I love the other artists in my life who shore me up and support me and excite me and inspire me. I love this cursed blessing and this blessed curse.