Noah, thanx for sharing your journey. I LOVED reading about it!
I started out as an artist in childhood, was given the gift of real oil paints at 10, and, for the strange reason that my mother borrowed my new paints during summer vacation and took up painting, I began to write more than paint and dropped it at about 17. Didn’t return until I was 48, when my mom died (at 90) and left me her paints….. I began taking extention classes at Otis Art Institute in LA and realized I was reasonably good. I’ve done quite a lot of painting since then, won a few ribbons, sold even fewer works; and know I really should have kept with it, also that it’s a bit too late — not to make art, but to be what I might have been. Fortunately, I also write and in the early ‘80s founded and edited a computer magazine, Softalk, which focused on the Apple, that was pretty successful at the time and was super fun to do.
What thrills me about you is how you recognized your goal, set your mind to it, and followed through with love and energy. Just wonderful. Oh, and btw, my mother grew up in Australia, went to school in Melbourne. So I know how special Aussies can be. (Even if they do usurp your new paints!)