Painting Again

As always, painting is my first love.

DavidI’ve done a little the past couple years… very little. Nothing serious in the least. Probably my nicest drawing was this one of Michelangelo’s “David” that I saw in Florence. It is pencil, charcoal and white gesso on gray drawing paper. I framed it and hung it in my living room to remind me of that glorious day. (My original post about the incomparable “Da-veed” is here:

It is so easy to tell yourself, “I have to work” or “I have to keep up with the house and the yard” or “I’d really just rather watch TV for a while.” I have done all those things.

Then, this past Easter Sunday morning, my mother passed away from congestive heart failure.

The whole thing happened very quickly. She had been in the same condition for several years in an assisted living home. She wasn’t terribly old – just 79 – but had neglected her health for most of her life. I don’t blame her for that… it’s an easy thing to do.

But the most sobering thing for me, besides losing a parent, is that she was only 17 years older than me.

That means, of course, back in the early 50s, she was a youngin’ of 16 when I first made my presence known. Certainly she did not invent that drama – it was practically an epidemic. And like many of my generation, I was welcomed into the world by parents who were still children themselves.

Fast forward to now…

Losing a parent is something that happens to everyone. But when it is you, you realize you’ve just taken another step up to the turnstile out of this life. When I was a kid, I was in line behind great-grandparents, grandparents and parents. Now most of those are gone and I’m first in line.

Holy whatever!

Does this mean I have 17 years or less left? Or maybe a few more if I watch what I’m doing? Who knows?

What it does mean is you start questioning your priorities…

Knowing your days are limited makes you start to think of what you really ought to be doing with the valuable time you have.

Foremost for me are spiritual goals and family time, but beyond that, I have a personal life as well. What am I doing on a daily basis that makes my life interesting and fun and worth other people remembering me?

Basically, for me, it is creative pursuits that I can share with others. Anything creative sets off all my bells and whistles. I’ve spent countless hours learning to knit socks… make the perfect marinara sauce… keep sketch diaries… recreate vintage handkerchiefs… teach everyone to make homemade noodles just like my grandmother did… and on and on.

But if I have one regret, it is this… a 4 year college degree in fine arts.

I never got it and I still want it. Yes, I’m 62 years old and I still want it. And I remembered it when my mother died.

However, education is not free. I did some checking and it is still out of reach. I’ll put the details about my college experience and desires in another post…

So that made me think… what is it I really want?

Well, dagnab it, I want to be a good painter. And I want to have a nice body of work under my belt. And if I can’t go back to college, I can at least study painting and do some good work. And so I have started. I am officially painting again… almost.

What I’ve decided to do is a very involved process and that is part of why I want to document it.

It will take me several posts to explain, so if you hang with me, I’ll do just that.

For now, I’m happy knowing I’m about to start painting again.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pam Upham
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 18:52:36

    Wow! Welcome back Starr. Carol and I often chat about you and wonder how you are doing. My brother & family visited Lucca last year which prompted me to share some of your experiences with them. Good luck with your painting! Looking forward to seeing some of it on your blog. Kind Regards Pam from South Africa


  2. thesketchylife
    Aug 10, 2014 @ 09:11:07

    Helloooooo Pam! And hello to Carol as well! I, too, often think of you both. Thank you so much for getting in touch. I would love to hear more about how you both are. Hopefully you have my email address in your files – it is the same – and we can catch up!


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