Paths We Are Meant To Walk

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.”

6 thoughts on “Paths We Are Meant To Walk

  1. Dear Kala

    A beautiful narrative to that painting that fits the bill. I have mentioned many times to those whom I managed to get them to post their work here. This site is not meant for any kind of comparison. I always believe that we learn something new every day. The good, bad, whatever is for us to reflect and decide what ourselves. Your narrative has done that very well.

    Thank you for sharing your personal journey.

    Take care

    Beena

    1. Thank you Beena. I especially enjoy the fact that we get to know how much alike all of us really are through our writings and art:)

  2. Hi Kala,
    Thank you for sharing. I have to admit that I do feel the way your students do about my creative escapades and was shy about sharing them with others. From a really young age, most of us have been conditioned to pay heed to other’s judgement and criticisms and, somehow always choose between “blending in” or “standing out” in a community, rather than focusing on what brings joy to ourselves.
    I am slowly learning that one can be there for others, only if we first take care of ourselves and if that means painting something that only you love, then so be it!
    Gone off on a tangent here 😀

    1. Thank you Terry. Indeed, so many rules set by society that doesn’t give much importance to individuality. I enjoy reading your feedback.

  3. Dear Kala..as an ardent fan of your work..I couldn’t ever imagine you hesitating to put up your work..but can understand totally..

    As Terry says..restrictions and conditioning from very young take a hold on one’s mind and one resists from exploring ones creative passion or displaying that for fear of reprisals or negative feedback..

    Yes, as you said Kala..one needs to explore unhesitatigly..the winding paths ..that nourishes ones soul..despite the NAY sayers..

    1. I am looking forward to seeing more of your work here Suchi. There will always be NAY sayers, but at the end of the day, their feedback doesn’t matter. I remember reading this statement and it stayed with me, “Never listen to criticism from someone that you would never go to for advice.”:)

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