I loved Art class in school. My teacher and I really connected, and I never gave her the kind of trouble the other kids did. It was a simpler time too. I wasn’t focused on how good or bad my projects turned out. I just did my thing and enjoyed learning something new.

I also distinctly remember getting up at around 5 AM most mornings to turn on PBS to watch Bob Ross paint. I learned a lot from watching him. I might have also learned how to relax from this man. There were lots of art programs on TV at that time of day, and like a sponge I absorbed by observing. I later started going along with whatever materials I had. Bob Ross had oil paints, but I did what I could as a kid: Attempt the same image with markers and colored pencils.

I think this was also where my fascination with color started. I would see cartons of crayons, pastels, markers, paints, etc in the stores and want to buy them just to own those colors. How neurotic is that? Whether I ever used them or not wasn’t the point either. In those moments I just wanted the colors! When I did come around to using any of those materials I would be stingy, too!  It was and still is a pretty weird addiction to have! I still get stingy with my paints sometimes.

I didn’t realize it would be as much of a lifeline as writing is for me now. I’m never happier at any other time of my life than when I’m drawing or painting. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do it often enough. It’s not really a matter of time constraints, though. I just have trouble getting inspired, as many artists will understand. During times like that, I usually quench my thirst by watching speed-painting videos or art tutorials in general on Youtube until I’m moved to create or practice again.

My medium of choice: Currently I’ve been diving into digital art. Mostly for its convenience, mind you. I bought an iPad mini back in January to have a digital sketchbook so I wouldn’t have to carry around my pencils, charcoal, markers, and full-size sketchbook, only on the off-chance that I would be inspired at a moment’s notice. I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I have though. Being so used to traditional media, I felt totally out of my element.

I have and always been a fan of traditional pencil and charcoal sketching, and I have always painted in acrylic. I’ve tried most media except oil paints, and that’s just because the clean-up and hazards make me nervous. I still want to try it someday though, for the sake of being a well-rounded painter.

Maybe I’ll be more motivated to create some more now. Time will tell!


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