Inspiration or Desperation?
No WIP photo today, after visiting the Oasis Bird Sanctuary this weekend, I wanted to share a few thoughts. Many years ago Hubby and I listened to Anthony Robbins programs for motivation. One of the things that stayed with me is that change can be motivated by inspiration or desperation. As I looked at the beautiful facility that the Oasis has become and see where they are going, I saw inspiration from desperate circumstances. These birds come from many different types of situations, and their stories are usually sad at the beginning, but because of the dedication of this group of people, their stories become stories of hope. It brought back the reason that I am inspired to do my art. It is a gift given to me to help my beautiful feathered, furred, and scaled brothers and sisters. So I just wanted to share a little of my journey and hope to leave you with some motivation to go out and accomplish your dreams.
Flashback – First Grade…….I am standing in front of the room, my teacher has called me up to hold a coloring sheet in front of the class. She explains to the class how messy it is and that it is an example of how not to color. She calls up another student to stand by me holding up her coloring sheet and explains how neat it is, and what a good example it is of how to color. I went home mortified, and learned from this incident that I had no talent for art.
Flash forward ………..forty three years.My wonderful neighbor had given me a gift of a watercolor painting of my Blue and Gold Macaw, Loki. I am thanking her profusely, saying all of the things the untalented say…… This is beautiful, I cannot even draw a straight line, you are so talented, I could never do anything like this. Instead of saying “Thank you” for the compliment, my neighbor, Shirley Bennett, looked me in the eye and said, ” Arlene, you are one of the most creative people I know. DO NOT tell me you cannot do this. Go home right now and draw something and bring it back to me. So I do. It surprises both of us, not a masterpiece, but it has potential. Shirley insists that I should go out and take some drawing classes, so I sign up for a drawing class at Glendale Community College.
Now this sounds like the end of the story, but it almost became the beginning of no story. As you can see if you do the math, I was 49 years old. And if you think about it a little, you can imagine the doubt and self talk that went on. On the way to the first class, I almost talked myself out of going to class. “What am I doing, going back to school at this age? Everyone will be young and I will feel awkward, they will all have had classes and be good artists……..” As the doubts grew, I almost turned the car around and went home. Luckily momentum had the upper hand, traffic was heavy and I continued to class. Upon walking into the classroom, it was amazing. The students ranged from high school graduates to a 79 year old. Many of them were also beginners. And when the teacher, Darlene Goto, walked into the room, she said “I don’t know what talent is, all it takes is hard work and practice to draw…..this is a pencil. I knew I was in the right class.
The rest is history, inspiration from my own flock, the volunteer work at Liberty Wildlife, and organizations like Bird Endowment, the Oasis and The Alex Foundation have helped me develop Passion, Purpose and Power (as Carole Hillsbery says) in my painting. SO……… go………follow your dream………..the only thing holding you back is your self.