I am an artist

Today is the last day I will be home and working with my kids. Tomorrow is my husband’s day off and Monday school begins. Yesterday they drove all over Atlanta with me dropping off paintings and picking up graphic design jobs. I think they are very excited to get away from Mommy and her work. That was confirmed when I registered them yesterday for kindergarten and second grade and I swear those kids positively skipped on air down the school halls.

I love my kid’s school. It is the kind of school I went to. So home-y and comforting. Everything so miniature, built for their needs. I feel safe when I walk in those halls. It reminds me of how safe I felt at that age. Knowing mom and dad took care of me. I hope my kids feel that safe. I hope they have no idea how insecure I can feel at times. This past year was the first year I ever actually called myself an artist. I could always hide behind “Graphic Designer” but “Artist” seemed so naked somehow.

I first realized my love for drawing at 4. I painted my first oil painting at 15 and was so in love with the feel of paint on canvas it was intoxicating. I would paint late into the night until my hands cramped and I got dizzy fromthe fumes. But call myself an artist??? I still sign my canvases on the back. Yesterday the woman I did two paintings for MADE me sign it on the front. It was uncomfortable signing my name. I think it is something about us artists. We have this overwhelming desire to show the world the beauty we know we can create, but then get frightened when someone comes to look.

Last April I volunteered for career day. It has been the highlight of my artistic career so far. I wore my paint stained overalls, carried around my easel that I was given for my 16th birthday (and still use everyday) and told every single one of those kids in 7 different classes that they were an artist if they just thought they were. After I spoke for about 20 minutes and drew for them, I asked who in the class was an artist. Every single kid raised their hand. I hope they remember that forever. It took me 26 years to get it.

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