Monday, July 4, 2011

A Lifetime of Practice

Some years back, I visited my Oma's house at Christmas-time.  She's a retired oil-painter and her studio used to have a huge amount of natural light until a church claimed that they owned the land next to hers and built a house right on the boundary blocking out the much-needed light for her work.  However, she had been painting for a long time; and she was nearing the end of her interest in it and had found the internet a lot more interesting.  But she did keep her studio exactly the way she had left it and showed me her work.  I saw one impressive piece up on her wall and asked what it was and she said it was her very first painting and she kept it to remind herself where she had begun; where she started her painting career.  She advised me to do the very same thing. 
And so, I do still have my first painting after thirteen years of painting with acrylics.  More recently, I pulled that first piece out to show one of my neighbour's kids when she said she wasn't any good at art and maybe shouldn't even try it.  When she saw it, she laugh at it saying it looked like something she'd probably do.  I said I was twenty-four when I did it; and then I pulled out my self-portrait from this year and and put it next to it.  She said that I had improved so much!  I said it's all to do with practice; the more you paint the better you'll get... like with anything (not only painting, it can be also applied to music, writing, knitting... the whole lot of things when you think about it).  I think I made her feel better about herself and what she wanted to do in high school.  
So, here are the two paintings that I showed my neighbour's daughter.  My first one from 1998 and my self-portrait from 2011; and yes, I have to also agree, it's a great improvement.
I painted this one out at a cattle station outside Roma, QLD in 1998, age: 24
I painted this one over 4 months Feb - May in 2011 here in Logan City, Brisbane, age 37.
So, when did you start out in your chosen artistic field?  How old were you?  Did you keep your first piece, or did you sell it?  If you've got your first piece still, leave a comment and a link to a photo of it so we can all see it; and a photo of your most recent piece as well so we can see how brilliant you've become.

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