My mother-in-law used to have a plaque hanging in her kitchen with those words on it. Even 25 years ago, I realized that truer words were never spoken, but I didn't know what to do about it. Now I can look back and identify many things that would have made my life easier if I had been smarter about those things at the time. Eh, c'est la vie. But rather than getting mired in the "coulda been a contenda" mind set, let's revel in the things we've done right!
I have collected a very eclectic set of art books, so that there is always inspiration at hand, regardles of my creative mood at any given time. Of course, that is less important now that everything ever created can be found on the internet. Nonetheless, I like the tactile experience of turning the pages, holding them up close to my face to get a better look at the details, the smell of the book reminding me of trips to the library with my kids when they were small. One of the books in that collection is The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence by Betty Edwards. The book explained so clearly how people often try to draw what they think a thing should look like, not what they actually see in front of them. That was revolutionary for me! The drawing above was my first attempt after reading the book. For someone who grew up jealously watching her father draw beautiful things, and create gorgeous landscapes in pastels, this tiny little modest attempt was SOO satisfying! At that moment I knew that if I worked hard at it, I could teach myself to make beautiful things too.
So now I am older, and a little schmarter, but better late than never!