Working as a creative person, I identify when hearing other creatives’ experiences and struggles. Elizabeth Gilbert is one such person. Her book Eat, Pray, Love, which chronicled her adventure of travel to pursue the three things that she most wanted to feel and be immersed in, connected with millions of people.
Her latest book, Big Magic, was a good listen for me. She went through all the funky negatives we tell ourselves that keep us from creating. She also gave examples of beloved pieces of art where people carved out a few pieces of time a day to create them. I like the way she encourages us to create, not for money, not for success, but just for our happiness.
People talk to me about my art like I have a special gift. I see how people are moved when I tell them about my experience of taking a painting class for the first time, and how I embraced it and knew it was something I wanted to pursue. I appreciate that people are moved and inspired, and I understand that I have an ability to do what I do, but I don’t believe that I have anymore of a gift than anyone else, except that I became willing to give myself permission. And what that meant was giving myself the tools that I needed to adventure, hence the painting class. It was a long time in pause and in the “I don’t know if I can,” or “I don’t think I would be good,” since I had my first drawing class in the mid-1990’s. Before the class, I could not draw good stick people, but I just wasn’t ready to carve out the time, or venture further, for almost twenty years.
So Elizabeth’s book is another tool, of encouragement, of permission to continue exploring, working toward something I want to achieve.
I hope you will give yourself permission to explore your interests.
August 1, 2016
About Renee Bates
Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit Greenways for Nashville to pursue art and product development. Renee likes being in nature, hiking, birding, and working in the garden. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, a 3rd generation business begun in 1932. Renee admires the fact that it was begun by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates. Renee’s art may be enjoyed from her website or followed on Facebook.
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