2nd September 2021 Ms Kala Pohl
I am a professional artist. When Beena first asked me to write and share my paintings on this site, I was hesitant. Here’s why. I also teach an adult painting class at the University. My students often tell me, “I am not as good as you” or “I am shy about sharing my work with a professional”. This is why I was hesitant. I am always conscious about people who are starting their artistic journey comparing their work to mine. After all, I have had many years to hone my craft. I do not think I am a great artist. There are so many others much better than me. I believe my art resonates with some people and it doesn’t with others. So, I often share this personal story with my students.
I have always been drawn to painting, even as a child. My Asian Indian heritage, however, did not view “art” as a profession. Sure, I could dabble in it but that was where it was supposed to end. In 2002, I retired early from my 20 year career in technology. I always had this dream of being a professional artist. I never gave up on that dream. So, for me, art was a second career, one that I started later in life. Fortunately, I had an incredibly supportive husband. However, I wasn’t very confident. When I looked at other artists’ work, I felt inadequate. For a long time, I was in angst. What type of art should I paint? What would people be interested in buying? Will I ever be good enough?
After seeing how much I was stressing out about it, my late husband said, “Forget about painting for others. Just paint for yourself. Paint something that makes you happy.” So that is what I did. And everything else just fell into place. Every time I finish a painting, I put it up on an easel in my bedroom. When I wake up, it is the first thing I see. And that makes my heart sing:)
So, the ultimate goal for creative ventures should only be happiness. Nothing else. If you paint or write something and it makes you happy. That is enough. No need to put a label on what we do. After all, we are one of a kind, aren’t we? And everything we create is precious.
Painting these winding paths are a favorite of mine. Reminds me of the quote: “There are no wrong turns. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.”