Flicking through some old photos I came across this one of me aged 4. Curiously I am using my left hand. These days, “thanks” to an old fashioned school teacher I am right handed. Long story. The photo makes me smile because I remember the moment vividly and it also reminds me that I always loved to paint.
I have said before about the fact that I first found my love of painting furniture with my first paycheck. I mentioned the sense of achievement when friends were very complimentary and that I have continued to paint furniture on and off for many years. I have never really shared my love of painting with others until this last year. It started when my friend showed an interest in doing some shabyy chic’ing with me and so we worked on a sideboard together. She was hooked. Later she was excited by some finds that I had picked up in Wales and in particular the heart embossed magazine rack. As you will see, I ended up gifting it to her for her birthday and she loved it. This spurred me on to offer the candlesticks for sale and I was shocked to sell them within just 5 minutes of advertising them. Other pieces followed such as the washstand. And then I wobbled and stopped putting things up for sale. I didn’t stop painting, just stopped sharing. I was afraid that my work isn’t good enough, that I was going to disappoint people. I lost my confidence.
As a young girl I would often be filling my time with painting, drawing, writing and dancing and acting. My imagination wore me out at times. When I went to high school and attended my first art class I was excited, and then the teacher told me that my drawing was “out of proportion” I was crushed, I haven’t painted or drawn on paper for pleasure since. Now I know that the teacher was giving me an honest opinion but my very delicate ego just crumbled and I believed that my work was worthless. Why had I been wasting so much time?
This morning I have been watching a Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have no idea why I clicked on it but it spoke to me. I watched it and laughed, nodded and aha’d at it. Have a watch and tell me what you think in the comments below.