The Single Artist

There are many great reasons to be single and needing the time to create is one of the best of them. When friends ask why I don’t date I tell them that every single painting is a date. Some of them are full-on relationships, depending on the piece. The mental processes are the same, and its just as adventurous, as described below:

Choosing Someone to Date

Deciding on what you want to paint. This is the funnest, most creative part. Like deciding on a partner, you can choose anything you want and the world of design and technique is wide open. Everything is possible and its very exciting.

Asking for the Date

You have the subject in mind and you’ve decided on a composition, color and light scheme. Now comes the hardest part — asking yourself honestly — do I have the skills to pull this off? Or have I bitten off more than I can chew? Much like the pre-date question we all ask ourselves: “will he or she say “yes?” It’s sweaty-hands nerve-wracking.

Getting Ready for the Date

Buying the canvas, getting your studio ready and setting aside everything for the painting is akin to getting dressed for the date. Like taking too long to dress, painters can linger at this stage. Nerves will cause us to put off picking up that first brush until we can put it off no more. It’s almost ‘go’ time.

Now the hand reaches for the doorbell — as the brush stretches to meet the canvas for the first time. Exact same emotion.

Your ‘Date Answers the Door’ Kind of FEAR

You’re staring at a blank canvas, asking yourself what have I gotten myself into? Turn and run, fast, right now from this painting. You can’t do it! But you stay in front of your easel, or the door. All you have to do is reach your hand out, to the canvas, or the human, and it begins. Nerves are gone. Excitement sets in. Confidence abounds.

The Date is Lovely

The painting process is full of all the same stuff as a first date. Insecurity, pride, worry, stress, excitement, joy, happiness, wind-down, and completion.

Relax and Reflect

It’s over. I made it and performed well. It turned out great but was completely exhausting. Now I take a few moments to stare at the painting to remember and admire the whole process. What I learned. What I did badly and what I did great. It’s like thinking back on a great date with a little smile meant for only yourself.

Where the human relationship continues, as with a second date, the painter heads back to her studio to dream about the next canvas, the next subject and the next love.

Do not ask me that again. I have my love. It has always been there for me. It will always be there and it’s exciting every single time. You can’t say that about too many people, especially dating partners, fun as they may be.