Now I’m not going to tell you that professional painting has been able to support my every whim and desire. It more serves as a means of extra cash than anything. When factoring out the costs of supplies and storage, I more or less break even with a few extra hundred dollars in my pocket. Outside of that, I work doing all manner of painting, typically on signs for local businesses. Currently I have a sign drying for a Clarksville roofing company in my studio. It pays the bills and keeps me going in my endeavors. Whether I do it professionally, or for fun, I always love getting to work though. The smell of the studio, the feeling of paint on my clothes and hands, it’s captivating.
The girlfriend who first sold a piece of my art has moved into my history, yet my current wife is just a big of a supporter of the work I do. In fact, I met her at my gallery, eyeing a piece that I did involving birds on a lake. It was somewhat out of my wheel house, but sitting there at the lakeside one day, fishing, I couldn’t help but be struck by the contrasting look. When I got home, I tried to put my mental image down on canvas. It turned out a little contorted, like trying to remember something from way further back than that morning, but I felt it had a kind of personality.
So did she apparently, because after looking it over for a half hour, she wound up buying it. It’s one of the few purchases throughout my career that I remember intimately. I told her that I would drop the price by ten percent if she would let me take her for dinner, to which she agreed. So needless to say, the art world has provided me with more than just inspiration. Since that point I have expanded the works that I do, and encompassed more professional means of employment in the art world, but I can count myself fortunate as one of those people in the world who can do what I love and make a decent living at it.
I don’t know what the future will hold for my chosen craft though. I can imagine myself old and arthritic, unable to hold the brush, and without enough in a retirement fund to carry myself over. It can be one of the drawbacks of a passionate career path, but in the meantime I try not to worry about it too much. Life can be long, or short, and what we wind up doing with it can make all the difference. Personally, I love the fact that I love my work, and that others have been able to enjoy it too. Who knows what types of emotions they instill in themselves, but to know that I have touched their lives in some meaningful way, makes my life have purpose, even if I don’t get rich trying.