Friday, August 22, 2014
This blog post is definitely off topic and not about what I am painting today. Rest assured I am still painting and will try to get back to blogging about it soon.
I recently read an article entitled “Summer of Love” by Steve Rushkin in the 8-25-14 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. In it he writes about his current obsession with tennis which follows his other sports obsessions of skiing, swimming, ping pong, etc. You get the picture. Every new obsession requires special equipment (racquets, shoes, clubs, balls….) and skill sets that need to be learned.
Although I am not into sports at all, this article struck a chord with me. In nearly 60 years of life I have had many obsessions. When I was a teenager they included writing, drawing, sewing and crotcheting. In my early adulthood, I was hooked on macramé and counted cross stitch with forays into needlepoint and embroidery. Later I got into quilting and doll making. And more recently I took up knitting, making 6 sweaters in five months and gaining an awesome case of carpel tunnel in both hands!
As in the sports analogy, each endeavor required special equipment and a learned skill set. Lots of dollars were spent acquiring both. To this day, I have three boxes of wound embroidery floss containing every color that DMC made in that era. I have knitting needles and crotchet hooks in all the sizes, two very expensive sewing machines and boxes of mohair for doll hair, as well as lots of tiny things to be used as accessories. And we won’t even talk about all the fabric…
So, as any of you know, who read my blog, my current obsession is painting. This means I have lots of brushes, paints in oils, water soluble oils, water colors and acrylics (although I generally only paint in oils). I have canvases, framing tools and two pretty nice easels. And since we moved, I have a great studio to paint in.
How long will this obsession last? Who knows, it’s been going for 7 years so far. In fact, I have been painting more than I have been blogging about it, having painted nearly 50 canvases so far this year in an attempt to improve my skill set.
So what is the point of this blog? In Steve Rushkin’s article, it was a commentary on human nature and thwarted ambition, about who he wanted to be but would never become. For me, I think it’s recognizing that our needs and wants change as we grow. I don’t feel guilty when I open a closet and see fabric or floss or unused quilting tools because I know that I will do these things again. My sewing machine has been put to good use in the past year making drapes, pillows and other things for our new home. I have worked on some unfinished quilts and even completed one in the past year. Some projects take longer than others, that’s all. And unlike sports, my skill sets aren’t as dependent on being physically fit. I write this blog post about obsessions because I think many of us go through this in various aspects of our life, and it’s normal. So feel free to enjoy yours for as long as it strikes you.