My contemplation of art and the creative spirit has made me realise that there is much to be grateful for. There have been many moments in my past career that have given me sleepless nights, cold fear and despair. It was probably inevitable that art would resurface and take me to a better mindset.
I loved art from an early age. Painted throughout school and considered art as a career. Instead I spent twenty years in full time law practice. In truth I suppose I took the safe option and law has certainly given me opportunities and a strong stomach! But it has taken much too and left with me with a severe imbalance in my life. It is strange how we let these circumstances take us over until our real characters are masked. For example you may remember yourelf as a cheerful person, always laughing at the antics of your friends – I mean really laughing from the core – not the forced laugh of a repressed spirit. After years at “the career” you realise that true laughter is now the exception and real friends? Are they out there? Sounds grim alright, but truth is that far too many people live like this out of fear of not surviving in this hard world.
A few significant events changed this for me. I realised that material success just did not have any substance to it. I was happier with far less in my late twenties. But this was still a vague idea and the comfort zone was too well established to challenge. Next moment was dusting off my paint brushes and knocking off a few acrylic paintings. No thought to it – just for the heck of it on a boring public holiday. I cannot say how I felt about it – I just did it and kept on painting week after week then day after day. I have not stopped since many years later. Like a dam that works it way through the cracks of the wall until eventually the wall breaks. I could then look at myself and welcome back the artist. The battle is not over and it takes discipline to believe in my art when the world is geared for materialism.
Am I a better person for it?
I have leant about keeping a balance in life
Losing my cynicism
More family time
My children only ever wanted time with their old man
Recognising what living in the present means
Continue to meet generous creative souls
No longer worry about trading in the car
Watch less TV
It is a work in progress and there is no going back!
Malcolm Dewey: Artist. Country: South Africa