"Because of circumstances beyond my control . . . " How many times have we come upon that phrase? And it is true yet again. Ah well.
Instead of what I had planned to write tonight and cannot, I am going to follow a train of thought that began a few days ago. And, of course, that's not wholly accurate because whispers of this thought have floated through my mind without being snagged and held still for examination for years.
Self-confidence. I mentioned that I found the self-confidence to believe that I could save the piece on which I was working, and I think I mentioned that I was surprised. When I was a very young woman I had more confidence than I should have had. At that time, art wasn't a usual subject in junior or high school, but I was lucky enough to have sculpture classes in a local museum for maybe two years. That was the extent of my training.
Very full of myself, I applied and was accepted to the art school at Syracuse University. That's where I began to see that I was out of my depth. The other students in my classes were far more gifted and had far more training than I. I left at the end of that first year knowing that my hopes of creating great art while supporting myself as an illustrator were no more than pipe dreams. Did I have talent? Now I know that I did, but while I had an overweening sense of self, I had an "underweening" sense of the value of practice and maturity.
Anyway, for years my art consisted of the occasional drawing and doodles. If I ran across a problem, I didn't know how to solve it. Golly, I didn't even know how to find an answer! Eventually, I realized that I had a child's facility that never matured. Sad? Yes, momentarily, but there were other things I thought I could do and do reasonably well. So I was contented.
But after retirement, I found I still missed having a creative outlet. From that time to now I've taken classes and have seen a gradual improvement in my work. I'm still no more than an artist of minor talent and can accept that. It pleases me that I have had the experiences of the classes and the practice, but it absolutely delights me that it has all led to being confident about the talent I do have.
And writing about it makes it even more real.