A few years ago (I”m trying not to remember specifically) I had 3 of my paintings stolen. Yup. It happens, I guess. There was a new restaurant in town. A Cajun place on campus corner and I ended up hanging 3 of my paintings there. Some time later I went back for dinner. What I found was the place bordered up. The restauranteurs had fled in the middle of the night and taken everything not nailed down including the kitchen sink … and my paintings.
I contacted the landlord, who owns a great deal of campus corner, and did not even get a courtesy call back. My friend was more angry than I at the time. I buried the anger under self-blame “Oh well, the food wasn’t that good I should have known better” and “They’re gone, nothing I can do about it.” So, I moved on and kept painting. Unfortunately, though I had photos of the paintings they weren’t good quality photos. Not the quality that prints could be made from. So, it was a real bum deal.
Losing a painting, or two or three, isn’t the end of the world. They weren’t Picasso’s after all. They were still my work. Something that I had envisioned and brought to life and they also represented different periods of my life I was going through at the time. I had emotional attachment to them. I would have sold them, but to a good home. I did a pretty good job of pushing them out of my thoughts and only occasionally did I think about them. Until today.
This morning I woke up and while reading “Finding Water” by Julia Cameron, I was inspired to repaint the Paris bakery painting. It was one of the first paintings where I think my personal style started to develop. As I write this I have sketched the drawing and finished the under-painting. When I finish this writing I will get back to putting the actual color to the canvas. I might actually finish it today.
When I painted it the first time it took me several weeks of classes to paint. Now that I’ve had more experience I might be able to knock it out in a day. Which, also inspires me to find the not so good photos of the other two and repaint them as well.
Today I am not just painting a picture. Today I am releasing a long-held anger and resentment toward the “thieves” who took my paintings with them and probably just tossed them in a dumpster. They could do that. But what they can’t steal from me is my creativity, my memory and my skills. I could paint dozens of that Paris bakery if I wanted to. So, the jokes on them. And I feel better!