As an artist, your talent evolves with every stroke of the brush. When I started painting, I painted as a form of therapy, a way to express those struggles and feelings I felt I needed to hide away deep within myself. As time went on I decided to take my painting a different route, and I tried painting because I merely enjoyed it.
Sadly, when you depend so much upon a talent as a way of expressing yourself, it isn’t always the same when you paint just because you want to. I needed to NEED to paint in order to see results that satisfied. At one point I gave up painting all together.
It wasn’t too long ago that I decided to pick up that paint brush and go at it again. I painted a wedding tree for my sister in law. Her faith in me, as well as my NEED for this tree to be perfect, really pushed me to see that I really did have a natural talent hiding somewhere inside me. The tree was beautiful, and I felt inspired again.
I wanted to paint again, and I decided to try my hand at something I had a real love for. I grew up on Disney movies, the Lion King being my all time favorite, so much so I knew the entire movie by heart. As I grew, that love for Disney became all the greater. I dreamed of going to school and becoming a Disney animator or artist. Though my path in life didn’t really take me in that direction, I never gave up on that dream.
I started painting Disney paintings, starting with my Golfing Mickey, and then Donald. Next came my Cheshire Cat, who has been a lengthy piece of work, and now recently my Jack Skellington. I have a few other pieces I have yet to share, including a fishing Goofy that will debut soon on my blog.
My Cheshire Cat I started months and months ago, and when I first shared him on here he had been sitting for quite a while. He was one of my first pieces, and my first attempt at such detailed color. Being my favorite, I wanted him to be perfect. I struggled to see the results I wanted, and eventually gave up.
I went through quite a few other pieces of work, not all Disney pieces, before I picked up my Cheshire Cat again. One of those pieces was a Fishing Goofy painting I did, inspired by my brother who loves fishing. I stopped halfway through, satisfied, but again struggling to see the perfection I wanted.
My husband and I took a trip to Disneyland, where I begged to go by the Wonderground Gallery. I knew this was where Disney artists had their work up for sale, and all I wanted was a chance to get up close to their work. If my work could compare, maybe I would find the strength to push forward. Sure enough, I realized after seeing those art pieces that I was being really hard on myself.
There were a lot of amazing artists in there, but when you got up close and personal with their pieces, you see that their art isn’t all perfect as you may think. It took taking a step back from their paintings to see that I was staring too closely at my own. I needed to take the time to step back and relax.
So I picked up that paint brush, and put my Cheshire Cat painting back on the easel. Not only did I start to see my painting differently, but I found that all that time spent between starting my Cheshire Cat and now, I had evolved as an artist, and my Cheshire Cat had evolved with it.
My Cheshire Cat is still a challenge for me. He gets a few hours at a time on the easel before he’s sent back to the wall (I think he is like this intentionally), but I’m not giving up on him. In the mean time I am loving watching my art evolve the way it is. Jack Skellington is an amazingly fun piece. I sometimes can’t believe it was my hands that painted him.
In the end, I have to give it all to God, for if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have the talent I have. When I look at my Cheshire Cat, he is a reminder of the work God is doing within me. He is a reminder that I am still growing as an artist, and a person. I may not be where I dreamed I would be, but God is still growing me, and when I’m ready, I know God has great plans for me.