I was going through Deborah Paris' blog yesterday and I found out I had something in common with her (something aside from the fact that we both love painting). I found out much to my amusement that she is a trained lawyer who left law practice after 20 years to pursue her passion for painting.
After reading her interview which was published in her Alumni magazine, all I could do was smile to myself because I understood perfectly where she was coming from and where she was heading to.
As a Medical doctor and painter; one question I am kind of used to now is "will you leave medicine to become a full time artist?". Up until now my answer had always been: I intend to combine the two for as long as I can. Do you think it is feasible?
I wish I could see into the future to answer the question myself. But I guess the best approach is the one I have opted to take and that is to take things a step at a time and to take each day as I see it. Maybe someday I would tell the kind of story that Deborah Paris is telling now and just like her paintings stand out so beautifully, mine would do the same.
There are quite a lot of differences in our stories. She studied art...I did not. Even though some people feel that having a formal art education makes little or no difference. Others feel it is essential because according to them Galleries are more interested in a certificate as it assures them that an artist can talk about his/her work.
Either way, I believe it makes little or no difference. Of course having a formal education brings with it a lot of advantages like exhibition opportunities, closer relationship with fellow artists and much greater exposure. But though the journey of a self taught artist is much more harrowing I feel it is much more uplifting and fulfilling. Nevertheless, who are we to sit here today and claim we know what tomorrow has in store for each and everyone of us.
One thing I try not to do is to say "never" because I cannot see beyond the tip of my nose let alone know where my love for art and painting would take me. I admire people like Deborah, who wake up one day and start walking down a whole new road in their lives. Not everyone can do that. It takes a tremendous amount of courage, self confidence and God's grace to ever succeed in such a feat. I pray that one day I would have the backbone to do the same.