Journey of the Artist

copyright Mia Laing 2014 'Catching the Light'
24x30 inches - Oil on Canvas 2014
What a week…filled with both highs and lows, as is the journey of the artist. The adventure of a peep with a paint palette. I finished a painting. 'Catching the Light'. I started a painting. I hung three paintings in a local art show. Exciting highs involving paint under fingernails…and champagne. The lows? Those same three paintings relocating themselves back to my house once again. No red dots. No refill of an empty purse. Disappointment and questioning whether I'm on the right track. My hide is thickening; a toughening and callousing of not only my paintbrush holding fingers but of my internal spirit... in a positive 'Toughen up Princess' kinda way. I'm learning to except that this is how a creative life meanders. Long, intense climbs up busy, well trodden mountain paths; adrenalin overtaking the exhaustion as you strive to reach the top, encouraged by the sight of others celebrating with their easels out and paintbrushes busy at the high point. Finally, you reach the summit but you realise its crowded with people jostling for space and all trying for a 'selfie' in front of the breathtaking vista. You are in awe that you have made it this far but there is a gut feeling that your journey is not to end here in this busy, noisy, chaotic place. You have to keep moving. It's far too crowded and familiar here, there's just no room for your easel to stay level and paintbrushes keep being dropped. There's also a tantalising glimpse of other distant mountains to climb and explore. Next comes the slippery slope to a plateau, a resting from the weariness that comes after a long and steady climb; a catching of ones breath; a consolidation of dwindling supplies and time to take in the vista before deciding in which direction to journey next. You take your time on this plateau. Its refreshing, its quieter and you just can't be bothered moving on yet. You want to put your feet up for a while, clean your palette, admire the view, to think back to where you have been and ponder the confusion of the map in your hand. There are so many available paths. So you make another cup of tea and procrastinate your journey just one more time. An unsettled feeling starts creeping in, like a rolling mist off the plains. The seasons are changing. An excitement starts to build that you are ready to move on and seek greener pastures. It's time to make a decision on which path to take. You pack your brushes once more, leaving some outdated, heavy bits behind and still with uncertainty in your heart, you take a guess at the right path and trudge on. There are puddles and mud, swamps and boulders but you just keep on putting one paint splattered boot in front of the other, trying new brush marks and sensations along the way. More mountain climbs, slippery palettes and plateaus are tested. You get blisters and sunburn, splinters and bites as well as joyful elation, a strengthened mind and body and pride at how far you have journeyed. During all this you gather a backpack of inspirational bits and pieces that you may want to use one day. Finally a path you start walking feels like heading home. It's peaceful. You can hear yourself think. Creativity flows over you like a heavy spring rain, washing away the debris of a distracted mind. Its joyful. You toss out old outdated and hoarded items from your bulging bag of inspiration to lighten your load and take the last few strides with a spring in your step. This place feels good. The cobwebs are cleaned, the dust wiped away. Brushes are unpacked. A new energy moves in. It feels like home. Maybe. Until the next move on notice when the art mountains call you once again. This is my journey. The adventures of the paint palette. Mia x
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