Friday, December 7, 2012

Aging has its challenges! I haven't posted for awhile -- or painted for awhile--because I've not been well and because my spouse had surgery. However, dealing with an aging body and mind as one struggles to grow and stay challenged is a primary concern of this blog.

What I have discovered in these past two months is that there tends to be a lot of stopping and starting. That's hard because it takes planning and energy to start up anything. Then, when something forces one to stop there's the disappointment and frustration to wrestle with and the fact that the starting up again will require all that energy once more!

I am finding that I am losing money on taking classes. I signed up for a Life Drawing class this Fall. I loved it!! It was so encouraging and invigorating to see that I could actually do this again. I had wondered how I would do in such a class after not doing it since college. I worried about how stiff my drawing might be. Already I knew I couldn't purchase the larger tablet because I just could carry it in as a younger me would have been able to do: Those are some of the adjustments one has to consider.

How wonderful it felt to see the lines flowing and shapes emerging! So much energy began to pour forth. Felt great. Each class made me eager for the next. Then suddenly it all came to a halt with the spouse's surgery. Neurosurgeon's office hours were the same morning in Houston that my class was in Austin.

So I missed three sessions. When I was free again only one session was left and I felt half-hearteded about it. Even if I did get it all going again, where was it to go? The class had come to an end. However I went but I had also forgotten that I was using two kinds of paper and all I brought was the cheap newsprint. (Aging mind issue?) So I couldn't work much without tearing up the paper. Even so I was reckless and determined and used water to wash in some values. Probably just venting some of my anger about lost opportunities.

I go into all this detail because this is the reality of Learning to Watercolor--or any such effort--when the body (and the bodies of those for whom you have close relationships and responsibilities) begins to present its challenges. This, then, is the point of this particular post: Starting and stopping and starting and stopping is a real and energy sapping reality in attempting to do anything of this nature as one ages.


  1. This struck a cord as we celebrate my aunt's 90th birthday today. Her painting was used as her therapy recently after a serious illness leaving her with memory issues. She was explaining that it reaches a place of recall unrelated to cerebral memory. I'd say because we paint from the heart. Would love to explore that more. She had fun painting and that's what counts. Paint for the health and wholeness it brings to you, not for results. Although I do see great results perusing your previous posts of paintings. Kudos! Paint on sister without counting all the starts and stops.

  2. Thanks, my dear Nancy. Knowing how busy you are makes this even more special. I find it very encouraging that your aunt is still painting at 90. That's twenty years away for me. God willing that I get that many years, I could still enjoy a lot of art making. Part of what this blog is about is adjusting from a intensely driven mind set to "somewhere else." I'd like to think that it might be a place of wisdom. But I am definitely in some kind of in-between space. I'm doing a lot of journaling right now trying to make sense of this process. This blog is just one layer of it. Thanks for visting and thanks for your friendship.