Sunday, November 21, 2010

What are you passionate about?

According to, passionate can be defined as "having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling.  There are a few other sentences in their definition, all basically saying the same thing.  Passion can be both positive as in being passionate about one's work, i.e. expressing, showing, or marked by intense or strong feeling, or negative, as being easily moved to anger, being quick tempered.  For the purpose of my post today, I think I'd like to stay with the positive line of thinking for the purpose of today's post.

I'd like to think that everyone is passionate about something positive.  Jeff Katz (@jeffkatz1946) sent me a tweet saying "@rutheemac My passion: finding new ways to have "Cave" be loved by another as much as I love it. #passionate #aboutart .  Take a look at Jeff's painting and see for yourself why he is passionate about "Cave." It truly is a wonderful painting and Jeff clearly shows his passion in his work, which in this case is art.

Owen Dearing (@mugmkr) responded "@rutheemac I am passionate about handmade coffee mugs!"  Taking a look at Owen's picture with his profile, you see him holding up a tiny mug, which is exquisitely done.  I can't imagine the work involved in getting each detail correct on such a small scale.  Definitely passion running through his veins.

Being passionate about something can mean many things to everyone.  Many of us are passionate about living life to the fullest and embrace every opportunity to try something new whether it's skydiving, rock climbing or playing the violin.  When an activity brings you such joy that you want to spend every free moment involved in pursuing that activity, then you are most definitely passionate about it.  But, you need to be careful to not allow this passion to overtake your life.  We've all seen pictures of people who have had a passion to collect salt shakers, Elvis memorabilia, or books.  Their homes are full of the items collected as a result of their passion and it's gone from the point of a harmless activity to requiring a full out intervention by family and friends to control, if not stop the madness.  

It's possible to be passionate about more than one activity.  Sports minded people are often involved in more than one sport or may find that they are also passionate about reading.   Variety is good, it gets you involved with different sets of people, you learn different skills and just having the variety in your life keeps you motivated each day because no two days are the same.

My passions are art, reading, writing and Molly Cat.  Don't tell Molly that I placed her fourth on the list as her little heart would be broken.  Truly, she does rank first in my life and in my list of activities.  I wake up to her looking in my face each morning and go to bed at night with her sleeping beside or on top of me.  We have a comfortable existence and enjoy each other's company.  As for my other passions, art would be next on my list.  I live, breathe and must do something pertaining to art each day or I feel that I've missed something that is an intrinsic part of my life.  Reading is an activity that allows me to gather more information about artistic pursuits, provides details as to how to approach different types of art.  But, reading also allows me time to destress, time to travel via the book, either back in history or draws me into a story unfolding right before my eyes.  When I read, I lose all track of time and if the book is a good one, for me, it's as if the scenes are actually taking place and I'm there to see the plot unfold.  I'm actually there, a participant in the story.  That is truly passionate reading.  Now writing, that is one passion that I left by the wayside a few years back.  I lost my passion for it somewhere along the line and stopped writing all together.  Lately, I've been thinking a lot about it, probably because of writing two posts a week for this blog.  By putting together the words to communicate to you what each post is about, I'm reaching back into that mental file cabinet that I closed so long ago and pull out the information relevant to each post.  I think about what I want to say, how I'm going to say it and then think about the resulting string of words that I've put together.  I wonder if any of it will be of interest to people who stop by for a read or if I'm just putting words down on paper that are disposable and of no interest to anyone.  Truthfully, I care about each and every post that I write.  I believe in what I say or I wouldn't put the words out there for everyone to see because these words are my thoughts being communicated for all who care to read.  That's pretty scary stuff and so I take great care in what I put down in a post and review it, revise it and when I'm sure that it accurately says what I want to say, I publish it.

Writing is one of those paths on my journey that is taking me through uncharted waters.  I haven't written anything of any great significance in my life.  But, now I am actively writing out what I hope will turn out to be a book suitable for children.  I've written out a synopsis of what the story will be and I'm now at the point of giving names to the characters and fleshing out the details of what is happening in each scene.  It's one of those little stories that I told you about that was languishing on a bookshelf calling out to me every time I walked by.  I can't ignore it anymore and I need to write out the story so that it can be shared with others.  It's funny how things happen in your life that connect to what you are doing and it's purely out of chance.  Someone I worked with about three years ago has written his first book and he sent me a copy.  The arrival of the book set off bells in my head.  Maybe it is possible for someone like me, to write a story and actually have it published.  My friend's book is under 100 pages, doesn't have any illustrations and when I read through the pages, I hear him telling me the story, his story.  He's not one to embellish on the details and what he wrote in his book, he wrote sincerely.  His sincerity shows on every page.  So, if this young man can write a book that is of interest to a wide audience, I wonder if maybe I could also write out my story and have it appeal to a much younger audience?  I'm going to give it a try and see where this path ultimately takes me.  I'm prepared to put a lot of work into writing this story.  I hope to illustrate it as well.  I truly want this book to tell a story that I've been thinking about for several years and I want to share it with others.  

This is all part of my artistic journey.  Artistic journeys can involve passions as wide and diverse as the passions of the readers of this blog.  Julie Anne is passionate about cooking.  Mary-Jo is passionate about making interesting jewelry.  Liza is passionate about painting pictures of faerie folk and Claudia is passionate about painting scenes filled with folk lore from her heritage.  Vance paints with a passion that comes out every time he puts brush to canvas. Picassoesque perhaps in style, but still uniquely his own, Vance pours passion into his paintings and if you are at all receptive, you feel it when you look at them.  All these people are artists, all in their own way, all expressing themselves sincerely, openly and with great passion.  I too am passionate about painting.  I enjoy it to the point where I would sometimes rather spend money on paint supplies than to purchase new clothes, groceries or other things.  But, I am also passionate about my writing.  I figure if someone half my age could write down sincerely what he really felt and be published, then maybe this is a sign to me to stop ignoring the words calling out to me and finally write them down and see where the journey goes next.  Truthfully, I never work on just one thing at a time, so I will continue painting, I will keep reading as many books as humanly possible, but, I am going to commit to setting aside two hours each day to work on my children's book.  The nice thing is that at some point, I can start working on the illustrations to go with it, but for now, the words need to take precedence.  I need to know how the story unfolds before I can begin to illustrate it.

I hope you think about what it is that you are passionate about.  Even more, I hope you take steps to welcome this passion into your life and take the time to work on it.  Whether it's reading, painting, sewing, or perhaps writing, take the time to pursue it and breathe life into it.  You might be surprised where your personal artistic journey takes you.  Maybe our paths will cross and we can compare notes on what we have discovered in our travels.

I've added two pictures to this post, both part of a project that I'm working on.  I love faeries, faerie tales and anything to do with the other realm beyond our own.  These two drawings done on black card stock make use of coloured pencil, markers, both coloured and some metallic.  These are preliminary drawings that will ultimately be done in both coloured pencils and in acrylics just so I can see the difference in the two looks.  I'm not entirely happy with the use of black card stock.  While it does lend an interesting touch to the drawings, I think ivory card stock would be better as well as to eliminate the use of the metallic markers.  I'm going to redo both of these on ivory card stock, hopefully this week.  But, part of my promise to you was to share with you what worked and what didn't work and hopefully tell you why.  These two drawings don't work for me.  I want to do them again and see what turns out on a different coloured paper.  I know that I can do better.  But, I wanted to share these with you so you know that I'm true to my word.  This was one experiment that didn't work in my eyes.  I'd be interested in hearing what other artists have to say about these rejects.

Wishing you an artistic week in which you find the time to do something creative.  It doesn't matter what it is that you do.  As long as it makes you happy and you take pleasure in not just the final results, but in the process, then it was time well spent.

Sincerely,  Rutheemac 

P.S.  I'd love to hear about your passions!  Write a comment and share with all of us what it is you do that you enjoy so much.  I'll post all the comments and you never know, your passion just might inspire someone else to try to follow a dream that they've wanted to pursue for so long, but didn't feel that they could.  Let's encourage others to follow up on their passions.  I think that we just might be helping some other people find out what passion is all about and the pleasure that it can bring.


Burn said...

My passion is pretty simple, but nigh impossible. I'd like to make a design that gets seen in a large area.

Burn said...

My passion is pretty simple, but nigh impossible. I'd like to make a design that gets seen in a large area. But I figured if Saul Bass and Paul Rand could do it, why can't I? I suppose it's more of a dream, but I'm passionate about getting there.

Rutheemac said...

You will get there, but it takes time! Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Don't give up, because if you do, then you are guaranteed not to accomplish your dream. But, if you're truly passionate and I know you are, you'll work on improving your technique, style, use of colour and so on, all things that are doable. Then, you will get to the top of the hill where your work will be known and recognized. Meanwhile, don't give up! You can always DM me for some good old fashioned encouragement.