Have a bad ass cat kind of year!!
By Renae Brabham
It took years for me to learn that the lack of support was more about their inability to dream than my ability to create.
I have never uttered “I’m bored,” not for a day, an hour or a minute of my life. When a thought becomes a stitch, a stroke of the brush, a paragraph on paper, we give it life. We have created something that didn’t exist out of the blue, just like that. To me, those creations are little miracles in this world. Whether it be the seed a farmer put into the ground that became a beautiful squash on my counter, origami birds, a child’s drawing on a frig, a new guitar riff that rippled out into the universe — a zillion little things that weren’t here yesterday came into existence today.
My mind runs continuously and I know it will until I take my last breath, but it wasn’t always like that. Unsupportive comments from family de-railed and many times stunted my desire to create. It took years for me to learn that the lack of support was more about their inability to dream than my ability to create. You should never let someone else’s voice be louder in your head and heart than your own.
It doesn’t matter if what I do will ever be seen. The joy is in the creating. I don’t even try to legitimize the time I spend doodling on a power bill or scribbling random words in a notebook. I just know that if I wait until everything is perfect in my life to do what I like to do, then most of what I have done or ever will do wouldn’t materialize.
I am my biggest critic, but I have been working on that for the last several years. I used to crumble up a page I had just written on an essay or manuscript, and I’ve been known to paint a huge red X across a painting that I felt I messed up.
There’s enough criticism in the world without self-inflicting it.
But lately I have found that if I leave it, walk away from it like a jig-saw puzzle, I can get past the ugly and when that doesn’t work — I sign it and laugh before throwing it out.
I have tried my hand at watercolor painting for years and every 4 or 5 years I will twist the caps off of those paints and give it another go, but it never ends well. The last attempt was of a cat. Easy peezy, I thought. Uh-uh. What happened in those few minutes between the vision in my head and the tip of that brush was nothing short of sabotage. What I ended up with mostly resembled the dead cat from Stephen King’s“Pet Sematary.”It was REALLY bad. But even though the muddled water in the rinse glass was prettier, I couldn’t make myself throw it away. Instead, I laughed, signed my name to it and gave it the title “Cats gone bad.” Why plural? I thought I might make a triptych series.
So for 2021. I’ll try not to be so hard on myself. There’s enough criticism in the world without self-inflicting it. It will be alright if I color outside of the lines, paint bad pictures, make ugly Pinterest projects and do it all wrong — as long as I enjoy the process. Happy New Year to you all, I raise a glass to all of your bad ass cats this year.
Original watercolor, "Cats gone bad," by author Renae Brabham.