In 2004, I decided to embark on the greatest, hardest, and most demanding journey I’d ever taken. I quit drinking.
I’d spent the past nine or ten years going from artist-gonna-be to drunken-artist-wanna-be. I was well on my way to becoming the town drunk. I was almost artist-never-gonna-be.
Every spare dollar I had was spent on beer. Even a few dollars I didn’t have were spent on beer. Every minute of my life was spent drinking, earning money to drink, or suffering through a hangover… or all three at once.
The idea of any trip longer than a work commute was aggravating because it would cut into my drinking time. I didn’t want to part with the gas money anyway.
I quit drinking because I had lost all control over my life and dreams. Earlier in my life, I drew and painted every day. When I quit, I wanted to pick up where I left off. As the desire for alcohol vacated my body and soul, the desire to create returned, with a vengeance.
The fog was lifted and I saw better. Life was in focus, the it was bright again! The numbness wore off and I was feeling the world. I remember being at an outdoor art fair, loving the sites. Gorgeous dark clouds rolled in and it poured cool rain in huge drops on artist and art lover alike. While everyone was grumbling about the soaking, I was loving the experience.
I know I can stay sober through good times. That was easy. I know I can stay sober through tough times because I had already dealt with some emotional crap after getting sober. But if I get bored, I’m pretty sure I’d drink. So I refuse to get bored.
That’s what Off-the-Couch Art is all about; getting off my butt, staying active, doing things and going places that inspire me.
So let’s go!
These are older paintings I did well before 2004. I couldn’t find any that I did in 2003 or 2004. These aren’t bad, but what strikes me about these is that they’re all of places very close to where I live. Now, painting local scenery isn’t bad, and I still do it. Local people love local art. In fact, all of these were sold years ago. My point is that it’s been good for me to get out and go.