Most artists begin their biographies with stating they knew they would become a painter or that art was their favorite class in school. I never took an art class or picked up a paint brush until well into my 5th decade of life.
As a psychologist who specialized in social science research and the law, my career had been exciting, challenging and stressful. Little did I know that my first instruction in the way of painting would be a pivotal event which set my life on a completely new journey.
Painting absorbs my complete attention and feeds my passion for the outdoors. Upon picking up a brush, quiet solace envelops my soul. I have come to understand that solacement most correctly refers to comfort in grief or the alleviation of grief or anxiety. To that end then, I have used this word correctly. Perhaps decades of stress, the adversarial nature of the law or just sitting in endless conference rooms for prolonged periods eventually brought me to a place of which I was unaware, until I was enveloped in peaceful concentration when I held that brush in my hand.
Being outdoors and horseback riding had long given me joy before painting but becoming a painter really pushed me to “see” what was before me. How could I have missed so much for most of my life ?
As a painter I am learning to really see the glory of nature and herein is the greatest reward. The understanding of relationships, patterns and systems, understanding that the whole is more than the sum of the parts, understanding how to meld thought and emotion all lead to acting as a whole individual in complete consciousness when I paint. Gregory Bateson once said that religion and art are some of the few areas which allow one to act in complete consciousness. Now, many years after having read Bateson, I better understand and embrace his meaning.