Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Being an Artist: A Blessing or a Curse?

My friend, Barbara, a fellow artist, and I were having a discussion one day about our art. We were both discouraged at the time and quite stressed about getting ready for a big show and neither one of us were feeling well at the time.

One of us made the comment, “Maybe we should pray about being artists. If we’re not supposed to do it, why can’t Heavenly Father remove from us this awful drive to paint?” Then the other said, “Is having this talent a blessing or just a curse?”

I hate to admit it, but there are times I look around and think, “Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to get a project finished by a deadline? Not to have to spend so much money on painting supplies? To have lots of leisure time to do some of the things other people my age do?”

Yes, I know. That is called “judging” another person and their life, but there are times I feel just a little bit envious. A little bit? No, if I’m going to confess, sometimes it is more than a little bit. I always—rain or shine, ill or well, stressed or not—have this awful drive to create art.

My friend and I both said, at almost the same time, “I’d stop painting, but I can’t NOT do it!”

We both laughed—at ourselves and every other poor artist who has the same problem.

The very next morning, around 4:30 a.m., I had this wonderful idea for a new painting. Oh, I could just visualize it and felt that wonderful surge of—well, whatever it is—engulfing my mind and heart and I couldn't wait to get dressed and into the studio to begin creating it. This truly was going to be my very best yet.

Could this be inspiration? I was absolutely sure of it.

So … there I was, out in my studio before sunrise, putting a Vivaldi cd into my stereo, whipping out my brushes, squeezing that delicious, creamy paint onto my palette and setting a new blank canvas onto my paint-spattered easel. Soon I was totally immersed in the magical, amazing joy of creating something that has never existed before.

Then what did I do?

I said a prayer to my Heavenly Father thanking Him for blessing me with this lovely, wonderful curse.


  1. I am cursed and blessed, too, but my art is verbal. I'm happier when I'm creating something that didn't exist before.

    Whether somebody wants to read my words or not, putting them together to form ideas or stories goes beyond just stringing words together. The process is edifying for me. It's uplifting. Sometimes, even, I feel it is divine.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.


  2. Oh yes! I know that feeling. I just wish paint didn't cost so much...I'm more of a hobbyist than you are, but I still know how it feels. Mainly because I don't have the time when I'm working. I can't focus if I don't have a couple of hours to do it. sigh.

  3. Truer words were never spoken. I feel the same way about writing.

    And I'm sure musicians who write music feel the same way, too.

    It is a blessing and a curse ... but mostly a blessing.

  4. Hazel,

    You've been tagged out at my blog entry, Taggity-Tag.

    Come out and play!


"Leftover Snow"

"Leftover Snow"
by Hazel Jensen (sold)

"Promise of Spring" by Hazel Jensen Winner of 2nd Place Award at the Lucille T. Stoddard Women's Art Show in Orem, Utah

Dry Fork Sentinels

Dry Fork Sentinels
by Hazel Jensen (sold)