Friday, February 6, 2009

And The Clouds of Doubt Lifted

My friend Stef recently posted about wanting to move back to San Fransisco. It would be something that she would be doing for herself, regardless of what others think. And suddenly, the cloud of doubt I have had about my life lifted. The guilt went away, and I feel calm. Here's the thing: I am about a year out from a degree in Elementary Ed with an emphasis in early childhood. I am also about a year out from a degree in Political Science ( I was pre-law). Yes, much to many people's surprise, I am hella smart. However, neither degree suited me, I ended up skipping a lot of classes near the end, and have felt guilty for not finishing something. I have every intention of finishing a college degree at some point. If for no other reason than I need to feel proud of myself for doing it.

I figured out what I wanted to do with life, what excited me, when I was a sophmore in college. I was taking the basic art history class that most choose to take to fill a requirement. But for someone who has loved art for as long as she can remember (I started reading books on artists when I was 5) the class thrilled me. The history of artists and why they painted what they painted, how they saw the literally made me glow. I lit up (and continue to this day to do so) whenever I talked about art. So I decided that I wanted to get a degree in art history, with an emphasis in restoration. I am an artist myself (although it's been quite a long time since I sat and painted) so the idea of helping fix art that was in poorer condition seemed like it would be very rewarding to me. To be able to show the world a piece of art that otherwise may never be seen because of it's disrepair, that would be rewarding.

When I told my mother what I wanted to do her response was less than stellar. I can remember the topic clear as day in my head. I was visiting her on my way into town from college, she was working at a camp at the time. When I told her, she asked what on earth would I be able to do with that degree. She told me it was all fine and good, but I had to be able to get a job. And while I am a dreamer, I am also a huge realist, so I let it die. I do not blame her. I should have stuck with what I felt was best. I think if I had, I would have a degree, and whether or not I would be using it now, I would at least have a reason for my student loan bills.

I have an amazing husband. He and I have discussed me going back to school to finish a degree. He thinks I would be an amazing lawyer, but we both agree, I would probably hate the job eventually. I have too much heart to be working in a system that is too often warped and unfair. I thought about just finishing up the education degree, since it might be easier to find a job with it. But in the end, I know what would make me happy. I may never end up using the art history degree. It may just be a piece of paper we hang in the office. But for me, it will represent exactly the person I have become. A woman who has decided to say "I am important, and what I want for myself is important."

I know I need to post pics from the rest of my trip. I am organizing them on the computer right now. Garret and I are going to an auction preview and antiquing today (I really want to buy something old to fix up) but after I get back I plan on posting some pics. For now, be satisfied with the one thing in my home my mother would actually try to steal from me if she thought I wouldn't notice. :) I painted it when I was 17, I went in after class hours to try and get all the texture right (hard to see through the front of the frame) and in the end the texture of the lips are as dry as they appeared in photo I was painting from.

This is a closeup of his face. It's from a photo of a boy in Africa, standing in a doorway with a basket on his head. We were studying faces, and I looked at his photo and thought he was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen. And the photo is taped to the back of the frame. It was my first time painting a person, and in the end it rivaled the accuracy of my teacher's painting.

This was all without the flash, but I can attest to, as weird as it may look, in the photo his bottom lip really was that red, just slightly more dusty. To be honest, I keep thinking of going and tweaking the painting, but then I think to myself, it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be what it is. Maybe at some point I will paint him again.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know that you were a painter. That is awesome! You did really good on that painting.

    I hope you took pictures when you went antiquing. If not, at least of what you bought (if you did in fact, buy).

    If you restore a piece be sure to take a before ;)