Sanctuary, Acrylic, 24×24
I have been doing acrylic studies on paper for over two months now. Rarely on canvas. Today, I chose one of those studies to enlarge onto a canvas. Keep in mind, abstracts are very difficult if not impossible to replicate stroke for stroke. Rather, I was recreating areas and colors. If I were to place the study and the canvas sided by side, you could see the similarity.
As my title indicated, Art is my “Sanctuary.” More specifically, painting is my “Sanctuary.” In 2006 suffering from depression after my poor health knocked me out of commission, my younger son encouraged me to paint to ward it off. I hadn’t painted for over thirty years. Painting became my saving grace… my lifeline… my “Sanctuary.” Today, it remains just that. My favorite quote is by Cecile B. DeMille, “Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.” If I don’t paint everyday, I become depressed.
Not only is my “Sanctuary” an emotional support, but I have created a sanctuary in my home where I can retreat and share my soul.
Recently, I have been sharing my soul through the written word (duh, you’re reading some of it, and I hope you follow my blog, “Studio Scoop”). Creating with words is now just as important to me as painting… my “Sanctuary.”
My resume includes thirteen years as a choir and band teacher at a public high school. Can you believe after thirteen years, my highest annual salary was $13,000? Poverty level. Obviously this was several years ago and times have changed for the better, or have they?
It was during this time that I began painting with oils… wasn’t aware of other mediums. On my salary, affordable housing for my family and I was a mobile home. As you can imagine, an art studio was out of the question. When passion takes over, however, there is always a way.
I made do. I had a tabletop easel that I squeezed under a desk. I sat on the floor with my legs crossed and painted from photographs and magazines. My favorite subject was clown paintings. To this day, I still have three of those paintings. Each of my three kids have laid claim to one of them. I enjoyed clipping black and white photos from magazines and newspapers and imagined the colors for those clowns and their costumes. Additionally, I created still life paintings and gave them as gifts.
When I left teaching, I chose a different career path as a manager with a large transportation company. Having sacrificed my need to be creative and the stress of corporate demands may have contributed to failing health and I suffered two strokes and two heart attacks. I survived but lifestyle changes I made caused major depression. It was actually a blessing as my younger son encouraged me to once again take up painting. I did. I now consider myself a professional artist and I no longer have to “paint under the desk.”
At my age, I paint as no one wants to hear an old geezer sing with a warbling and shaky vibrato. I recently added snorting to my repertoire. My heart murmur (a faulty valve) was replaced with pig tissue.
At my age, it’s unrealistic to believe I can still have a smokin’ hot body. I suppose that will have to wait until cremation.
I may not have a lot of time left. I certainly haven’t yet made a date with the Grim Reaper. In the meantime, I have two driving needs, creativity and attention. I intend to create at least a couple thousand more paintings. I love being in the spotlight which takes me back to attention… that’s where you come in. As readers, I need you to read my posts, follow my blog, http://jerrysstudioscoop.com, and subscribe to my newsletter, http://bit.ly/2ihuT5f. As potential art collectors, keep in mind that I can no longer park my cars in my double garage.
Please enjoy my website, www.JerryHardestyStudio.com. I know you’re busy, but remember I may not have much time left.
Thank you for your support. I’m not betting any younger.