Day 1 one of my new life as an artist

First day first question :

Do I really want to become an artist ? I guess the answer is yes, isn’t it. Let’s look at it this way, I had wanted to become a painter from age 15 to age 21. I drew on any schoolbook I had, I painted the walls and the closets in my room back then. For about 6 months I took drawing lessons and everybody told me I was good at it.

In 1979 I spent a year in a Californian Public High School and took 2 art classes over there too. I went to museums, read books about Picasso, Vermeer, Dali, Van Gogh and so forth. My parents tried to make me change my mind and get serious. I wouldn’t. My life was to be dedicated to Art, the one with the big “A” of course.

Then what happened? I fell in love. And somehow that induced kind of a turmoil in my mind. In fact I found myself entangled in sort of a Romeo and Juliet drama, for the simple reason that the young woman I fell head over heals in love with was a muslim and not me. Her parents wouldn’t even consider a second the possibility to have me as a son in law and, of course no pre-marital relationship allowed. So, the only way for us to stay together was a hidden relationship and to leave the country. And that’s what we did. No kidding. We signed up for college in a different country only to live our secret love story. Now, as romantic as this might sound, it was also the reason why I changed my career plan. Somehow, in my troubled mind of a 21 year old pre-adult, I thought that maybe the fact to become a doctor could influence in a positive way my girlfriend’s parent’s opinion. Having a doctor’s degree in order to make up for not being Muslim. You may say why didn’t you just convert yourself? I was decided to do so, but that wouldn’t have been enough, because the deal was Muslim AND from the same country! And I just couldn’t change my origins. So, I let down all my dreams of a creative life and studied day and night to manage medical school in a foreign language (remember we left the country!).

Our story lasted almost 4 years, then it broke. I found myself all alone in a foreign country, entangled in a medical career I hadn’t actually chosen for the good reasons. And I was to proud to go home like a “loser”. So I decided to stay and continue. After all, medical studies are not so uninteresting and I liked the idea of embracing a career dedicated to helping people.

The next 35 years went by in a rush. Working 24/7 as an intern, then as GP in a rural area, time just flew jet-propulsed. I found love for good when I met my beautiful wife. We have 2 wonderful children and worked in the same fields of competence since she is a pharmacist. My job was hard but also satisfying. I liked being a doctor, doing my best to help people, being present day and night when someone needed me. And as long as I worked I didn’t even have the time to reconsider being creative. I just didn’t have the time to do so.

still life, acrylics on paper, 2016

But, life is bizarre. My medical career has come to a pre-mature end in 2016, when I almost died from bilateral massive pulmonary embolism. The aftermath of this will keep me definitely from returning to my former life. So it’s now or never that I’ll have to make certain decisions. I could try to find a job using my experience and knowledge as a doctor, maybe as a counselor for insurance companies or something like that, or I could completely change career plans and reconnect with my first dream job vision.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? But, there are your dreams on one hand and your duties on the other. Bank loans to pay, my children’s studies to finance and so on. For 9 months I discussed it with my wife, my family and my children. Even my psychiatrist is ok with it.

This time I’m ready. I will live up to my dreams.

So, yes I want to become an artist. And I want it now. Life will not easily give me a second chance like this one again. But more than that, for 9 months now, since I’m out of work, I paint and draw and paint again. The more I paint the more I like it. I take my time to be with my family, to walk and ride my electric bike. Days fly by as I read about art, surfe on the internet, paint , paint, paint, …

Yes, I will become a painter. I will take the time to do so. I will let my dream grow slowly in my head, in my heart and in my hands.

Iconic, 2017

For now my skills are still in the making. I’m eager and looking forward to learning new things, experimenting with colors and shapes. The books I read speak of the same doubts and questions as I have myself, since they’re written by other artists. Pierre Soulages, a French contemporary painter, Wassili Kandinsky, the Russian inventor of abstract painting, … I want to read them all. Not to copy their lives and opinions, but to seek for inspiration and to reassure myself. Skills take time to develop, style comes with the years and I am on my own if I want to find mine.

Let me invite you to join in this journey. Be my guest and see what happens …

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