Sometimes in art you paint for a while, and then suddenly you have a growth spurt. A time when all of a sudden you are soaking up what you are learning like a sponge. There have been times in my artist life like that. I feel that I am going nowhere creatively, and then suddenly I see something, read something, or look at someone else's art and wham! I am off and running in a new direction, my muse on fire.
I always worked in oils, never in any other paint medium. Then I spent several years when I didn't paint in oils because I was busy raising babies, and just didn't have the time or energy to keep them out of my paints. I tried once or twice, and I remember cleaning oil paints off of Jim's little fingers (he was a toddler), and so my artistic bent went in other directions. I taught myself needlepoint, crochet, knitting, shadow embroidery, smocking, and many other types of hand work. I could do these and handle my babies without much of a hitch in my daily routine.
That was the first quantum leap I took in painting as an adult. The second leap was when we started the Treasures studio. I had never liked acrylic paints, not even in high school. They dried too fast, I didn't like the way the colors mixed, and they just annoyed me. But in order to provide an experience in the studio for people taking classes, we had to offer the paintings in acrylic. And though I had a rough start, I gradually got the hang of the feel of acrylics. And found I liked them. I could layer the paint up and add details quickly, without waiting for each layer to dry.
But I kept on, and practiced, and gessoed over some really weird looking paintings, until I realized I was evolving. Not only was I interpreting master works for the classes, but I was doing some original art of my own.
And the nicest thing about having this business, and painting in acrylics? I have seen the same thing happen, over and over, to the people who come to paint. They have fun, and the ones who visit often, have evolved. And continue to evolve. And I am privileged to be witness to this.
It does my heart good, these quantum leaps. Whether they are mine, or others, it feeds my artist soul.