Here in the U.S. many of us are celebrating Thanksgiving–or trying to. It’s no secret that because of our country’s recent election results, some friends and family members have gone separate ways. I’ve seen it even within my own immediate family, and it’s not easy. This, and many other things, make art more important than ever. Creating and painting is what nourishes us and keeps us healthy, in my humble opinion.
So whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving with family, spending it in solitude or don’t acknowledge the holiday at all, I hope that your day includes a good dose of creativity. And, know that artists all over the world are doing the same. Mary Todd Beam, author of The Creative Edge, has more to say about how painting means even more to her than food.
Will Paint For Food by Mary Todd Beam (an excerpt from The Creative Edge)
I hate to cook. It’s such a waste of time. Then there are the dishes to do and the dreaded leftovers that my husband won’t eat. So then I have to clean the fridge as well. I’ve tried many different methods to get around and away from cooking. The worst part of cooking is that it takes time I could spend on painting.
My husband used to come home from work for lunch. I’d have to wash the paint from my hands, put the brushes in water, seal up the paint jars and try to remember the place where the poetry was flowing from the tips of my fingers.
Lunch was a pain.
Then, I sold a painting. Then another. After that, when my husband would make his appearance at the door, I would shout loudly, “Do you really want me to stop painting?” A quick reply from him, “Just stay where you are. I’ll make a sandwich.”
Now, years later, I still hate to cook and avoid it like the plague. I make one meal a year, and that’s Thanksgiving. I do admit this feat comes with some difficulty, since now I can’t remember which end of the turkey is up or down. I buy pre-mashed potatoes, open a can of beans and invite friends here to show them my culinary talents–thinking they’ll never know my secrets.
Painting means more to me now than food. It is my food, my mental sustenance. I would starve without it. It nourishes all aspects of my life, giving me intellectual stimulation, providing emotional release and documenting all my thoughts, dreams and ideas. It helps me speak from the depths of my soul to record all my life experiences.
All are invited to this rich and extraordinary table. It would be a misfortune to miss such a significant meal. So don’t forget to “paint for food” whenever you can avoid cooking. ~Mary
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