• Siobhán Grogan

Blissful Bristles

Updated: Jan 23

Hi again everyone. Sorry, it has been so long, but I hope all of you are doing as well as you can be! I wanted to share a bit of inspiration that I use to paint. I have been dragging my feet through my most recent painting for my graduation cap (that's right everyone I got my Master's I have done it). It's done now though and I am so happy to have finished it.

So, I as many others have come to learn that you cannot force creativity, passion, or inspiration. It just sorts of comes (wow, thanks, that doesn't help) in my art the pieces that turned out best were the ones that I was so eager to meet the end product I could hardly sleep.

Well, let's get that good ole' origin story because clearly, someone with this confidence and level of capability must be some tortured artist with a story.

*You may now take this time to acknowledge the sarcasm that I am trying to emulate through each strike on my keyboard.

When I was younger my father used to take me to stunning art museums and instruct me to go find a painting, any painting I wanted, and draw how it made me feel. I had a little pouch containing a few pieces of graphite and several Crayola crayons, that along with my square sketchbook I would venture through the halls adorned with art of which I had no concept of the significance.

If we fast forward just so we can get past the smiley faces or frowny faces, I began drawing seasons that gave me similar feelings to the art I was analyzing. I remember clearly drawing a scene of my brothers and me in the winter trying to gather as much slush as possible to build one of the smallest saddest excuses for a snowman ever. That feeling of enjoying even the goofiest or smallest of memories is what I wanted to draw.

If we fast forward a bit more to high school I joined an accredited art class where my art would be sent to the state and judged. I was told what to draw and paint. Rarely was I interested in the task and when I decided to step outside the box I received reviews dripping in red ink. Tragic. My interest in painting and drawing for the memories and emotions it allowed me and others to tap into was gone. Art was not for me. It was too strict, it lacked depth and I felt like it was near punishing.

I might never have gone back to art had it not been for a small pouch falling from my closet as I packed for college. The smell of colored wax wafted from the bag and I remembered the little slush man I built with my brothers all those years ago flipping through the pages of a child's memories.

Today I can paint what I like to tell a story, to express myself, or just to get out some energy. It doesn't always look good, in fact, it often looks pretty weird, but I owe that expression to myself. I get stuck on art and I drag my feet sometimes but I try to remember that my art isn't just paint. To me, it's more.


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