Monday, December 19, 2011

You are an Artist

"If you can see yourself as an artist, and you can see that your life is your own creation, then why not create the most beautiful story for yourself?" -- Don Miguel Ruiz

I can't draw or paint to save my life. My ability never evolved beyond drawing stick figures and even those are pretty pathetic. I got a Paint-by Number kit as a kid one year for Christmas. Those are virtually fool-proof yet I managed to mess mine up. It looked so awful, I threw it away. I was the one who always failed art class in school. I am the least artistic person in the world and I slightly envy those  blessed with such a gift.

Recently, I painted my bathroom. What a big production that was! I had never painted a wall or a piece of trim in my life. but I because I had a big hair-dye mishap (Nice and Easy Natural Dark Brown #121A  spatters on the wall over the sink) I had to cover it up. I didn't want to spend the money to hire someone to paint my tiny bathroom so I marched down to local hardware store, talked to paint guy, and came home armed with brushes, rollers, drop cloths, a gallon of eco-friendly paint and a free paint stirrer.

Despite the fact that I needed two whole days to complete what would take an ordinary person about an hour, my first real attempt at painting turned out well and I am pretty darn proud of myself. I can see only one spot along the tub that I completely missed and one of these days I will take out my can of paint and fix it. Since I managed to pull off painting the bathroom, I am now ready to tackle the bedroom. 

My whole apartment is in desperate need of painting. Every wall is a boring, dingy white. This was supposed to be temporary resting place but it looks like I will be staying here a little longer.   A few coats of paint on the walls will make it look and feel more like home. Because I am so inexperienced in the painting department I figured I'd attempt the bathroom first, then the bedroom.  If I make mistakes, I can always repaint because those two rooms are so small.  Eventually my technique will improve and so will my confidence. I will be ready to take on bigger challenges: the kitchen and living room.

I can hire a professional to do the painting for me. It would certainly look better and take a lot less time. But then, I will miss out on the sheer satisfaction of sitting back and admiring my work- paint drips, missed spots and all. Every time I go into my bathroom now, I think how beautiful it looks. I bring everyone in there to show them what I did. I tell them how terrified I was to even attempt the job, how the cat accidentally stepped in the paint tray and tracked paint all through the house, and the clever ways I figured out how to paint around the sink, electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures. If someone else had done the job for me, I don't know how often I would take notice or if I would be as proud to show it off. There would be no stories to tell.......

All this might sound crazy to you. Big deal. I painted a bathroom. But, you must understand, I am a spoiled, slightly clumsy, girlie-girl who always had a man around to do everything for me. Growing up, my father wouldn't dream of asking his daughter to get her hands dirty with so-called men's work. If he wasn't sick right now, he would insist on doing the work himself. When I was married, my husband did everything. One year, I offered to help him paint trim on the house and I spilled an entire can of oil-based paint all over myself and the side of the house. I had white paint stuck in my hair for weeks and that was the last time my ex-husband ever asked for my assistance with anything. I can't help but feel proud that I painted a whole room all by myself.  I created a warm and beautiful bathroom with a brush, a can of paint and my own two hands. I am now an artist and the bathroom walls, though slightly imperfect, are my masterpiece!

You are an artist. Life is a blank canvas on which to create your very own work of art. It won't ever be as magnificent if you sit back and let someone else create it for you.  Just pick up the brush and start painting. The more you practice, the better you'll get at it.  If you really don't like it, start over again and create something new. And don't worry too much about the imperfections. Those are just the ups and downs, trials, tribulations, heartache, joys and triumphs that tell the most beautiful story and make your life a true masterpiece.

And this is Daily Cyn......


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