Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Living with an Artist: Part Two

Retirement can be a funny state-of-mind. Everyone approaches it a little differently. Some folks embrace the concept with enthusiasm for their measured time ahead; for however long that may be. Others take a more cautious approach, judging time and money spent in return for what?  I found my post-retirement calling pretty quickly and have settled into a routine that satisfies my soul as well as my curious mind.

Sharon followed a bit of a circuitous route but has finally found her focus. I blogged about this some time ago and it just continues to grow over the years. Sharon has become an artist.

In the beginning, it meant creating metal art through welding various forms and shapes. Gradually those endeavors evolved into alcohol ink and acrylics. Then Sharon’s art became a full blown exploration and examination of various painting mediums, methods and techniques. In that process of experimentation, my wife began mixing and matching a plethora of textures, patterns and applications to see the results. She also learned the disciplines associated with the many different approaches to her art.

I’m living with an artist now. Her lifestyle has changed and evolved over the past couple of years. The changes were subtle at first then grew more focused as an interest in the arts became her new-found passion.

The residue of her artistic endeavors continue to be seen everywhere; on the kitchen table, in corners, the basement and even Brian’s old bedroom. There is evidence of her art projects all over the place. Picture frames and paints are stacked everywhere.

Sharon can no longer chide me for stacking papers on the floor of my writing room (Melanie’s old bedroom). The artist’s ammunition has come to rest and now even Sharon understands it has to go somewhere.

Over the years, Sharon has taken art classes at the Northrup King Building in Norde East Minneapolis and at the Palm Springs Art Center. Her work is being displayed in a design store at International Market Square and soon will be represented in the desert.

Sharon recently had an art sale in our backyard.

It was a fund-raiser for her Apple Valley Rotary group and Sharon raised over $10,000 dollars for a local food shelf. Sharon had 93 pieces of art for sale and sold 87 of them.

Sharon’s venture into painting is less impressive than her embracing the true spirit of her craft. She is experimenting, succeeding at times and failing at others and trying again. There is a sense of urgency and a crusade that she is on. She is finding her voice, her comfort level and self-expression in her art. Sharon’s art is the story of her thoughts and feelings and moods and ambitions.

Sharon’s paintings energize her and give her a reason to care. It is carrying her beyond past academic success to newfound pleasures of the soul. Now she is passing on that knowledge to her grandchildren.

It means fulfillment for Sharon as an artist, an explorer and a person. It now defines who she is and what she has become. It is a life filled with purpose and meaning.

Been there, done that, doing it.  I know what it’s like. I couldn’t be more proud of everything she’s accomplished thus far and will in the future.

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