“How’s your painting coming?” I inquired, reminding him we had met at one of Alex’s earlier parties.
“Okay. Well, not really. It’s very hard. Nothing I’ve done is harder. Not even close.”
He described suffering a sort of writer’s block, an artistic paralysis that led him to spend hours in front of a canvas unable to execute a single brushstroke. “By day’s end on such occasions, I’m dead tired, even though I’ve done nothing. It’s like feeling as though you’ve run a marathon without having left your bed. I recall some writer saying something about how he hated writing but loved having written. That’s how I feel about painting. Doing it is misery; having done it is bliss. And yet I can’t stop.”
I told him about my fleeting dream to be a writer, adding that, unlike him, I had never had the courage to try and realize my dream. I was a hobbyist, nothing more. He was the genuine article. “I guess that’s what separates artists from the rest of us. Artists dare to plunge into the unknown.”
Strickland laughed. “That’s very romantic. You don’t hear about the thousands of artists who give flight to their creative ambitions only to return to more conventional lives once they see what it’s like. More traditional professions have their merits. Trust me, I know.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish