Revisiting an Old Passion

Vintage Drafting TableI took a big step forward this week. For some time now I’ve yearned to start drawing and painting again. The talent I was born with is still with me, but it’s been decades since I’ve created anything beyond the occasional doodle. Since moving to our new apartment back in September of last year, I’ve been slowly collecting art supplies: paper, paints, colored pencils, drawing pens in the hope that I could start exercising my art muscles again, practicing and burnishing old skills, and preparing myself to learn new ones.

But until recently, I’ve had no space to spread these things out where I could work on something off and on as time and my rheuma-hands permit. Creating art does take time, and the creative urge (at least for me) is easily squashed when I’m forced to get all my supplies out and then put them all away again an hour or two later every time I want to work on something. For me, art is a spontaneous undertaking: the muse beckons or time and inclination merge, and I need to get to work. Right then, not later, not after having to set the space up yet again. Not being able to do this was frustrating.

But now, I have a Room Of My Own (ROMO). For the first several months after Mom and I moved, we had to use the big third room in our new apartment to store all of mom’s excess stuff. But that’s all now in storage elsewhere. So, after saving my pennies for a while, and comparing prices all over the place, I finally took the plunge. OnTuesday this week I ordered and paid for a beautiful, vintage-style drawing table, a sturdy, ergonomic adjustable chair, and a good task light.

UPS is delivering them today. To say that I’m excited is an understatement. It’s been too, too many years since I’ve been able to have my art supplies out where I can work on my art whenever I have the time and the urge.

Of course, the rheuma-dragon is being particularly unkind these days. He’s taken to concentrating most of his fury on my wrists, hands, and fingers, and I sort of need those to make art. But I figure I’ll just take it slow. Do what I can, rest, pace myself. Make the whole process more contemplative, and use it as a distraction from pain and frustration.

When my new “studio” is put together, I’ll post a photo.

For me, the decision to buy these artistic tools cements my determination to be visually creative again, something I can add to my writing as a way to express myself and help me cope with life’s stresses and the particular anxieties that having rheumatoid disease causes. I’m  now a step closer to making that happen.

7 thoughts on “Revisiting an Old Passion

  1. I’m so excited for you Wren – I can’t think of anything worse than not being able to create. When my knees were really bad I was thinking, ‘OK, land me in a wheelchair if you must, but leave my hands and eyes alone!’ Of course RA doesn’t, as a rule, leave your hands alone, but as you say, if you can take it slow and pace yourself, you should have many hours of productive and creative fun ahead of you. I can’t wait to see some of the results!


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  3. This is wonderful! First having the ROMO is terrific, but being able to revive your art passion is wonderful. (Banish that dragon to the dungeon!) And it’s wonderful “hearing” your voice so often. I can barely keep up with all your marvelous posts. I’m sorry that the dragon is nibbling on your wrists and hands, but you sound wonderful and I’m delighted about that.

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  4. So exciting – it’s always a wonderful thing to bring a passion back into your life. I fully believe that indulging in a passion is a powerful weapon against the ravages of disease. I can’t wait to see some of your creations. I never had the ability to paint or draw – various forms of “stick people” was my biggest achievement in art 😉 . Wishing you well. Hugs.


  5. Wren: I really like your painting of doing battle with the dragon that you display on this website, so naturally I believe that it is good for you to continue to paint. It would be a shame to have talent and not use it.

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