By Cheryl Copeland
Life sometimes has a way of getting in the way of living. Each and every one of us has special traits that God designed just for us. If we fall into the typical Rat Race of life we run a high risk of pushing our greatest gifts deep within; they become buried treasures within our soul.
For some, like me, it simply takes a medical situation, such as cancer, to awaken us from our dormant state of life. Our inner passions are awoken. We begin to concentrate more on our inner peace and soon begin to find our buried talents. In time, life takes on an entire new meaning.
Others, like my former student Brian Krainson, are reunited with their gifts quite unexpectedly. As his teacher, it was easy to identify his creative talents. No matter what project was assigned, he exceeded all expectations and the other students were often envious of his work.
Like so many others, Brian’s life had filled up with personal struggles and challenges. As a single, full-time dad, he was wearing many hats of responsibility: he was a dad, waiter, product advertiser, maid, chef, homework helper, and diaper changer.
With all of his daily duties, Brian simply never had the option to go out on the town and behave like a typical 26 year old bachelor. Even when the chaos of the day was complete, he became the nighttime watchman over his precious sleeping boys.
Searching for a way to find an escape from the constant expectations, and to fill his evening quiet time, he remembered that he used to love drawing. On a whim, he decided to go to Michael’s art store. Without a plan, he found himself wandering like a child in a candy store. His curiosity had gotten the best of him. Brian stated, “I had never purchased a single canvas, brushes, or a tube of paint in my life. I wondered if I could paint as well as I sketch. So I bought the cheapest supplies I could find.”
Without ever having a single art class, painting lesson, or concept of what oil painting entailed, Brian ambitiously chose to create a replica of the famous “The Girl with The Pearl Earring” by Vermeer. Yes, this is the same art piece that has recently been showcased at the High Museum of Art!
The next night after putting the kids to bed he anxiously unpacked his new supplies that he referred to as his ‘garbage paint and brushes.’ He shared, “I was so confused. Each of the colors seemed to have totally different consistencies. I was clueless.”
Brian literally put some paint on a brush and began to stroke the canvas without sketching an outline or having the slightest clue which colors to apply first. Brian laughed, “I made a hot mess trying to match the skin tones for her face. I had to redo it at least four times.”
Working for several hours each night after the kids had gone to bed, Brian found himself looking at his very first painting attempt at the end of the week. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist he admits that he saw many flaws and was not completely thrilled, but at the same time he sat in complete admiration. After all, he had just completed his first painting, ever!
After being self-taught in just one week – he thought why not try another Vermeer! His second attempt, “The Girl with The Red Hat” took him a total of just ten hours to paint. “She’s not completely finished - I plan to add further detail – but I definitely learned from my mistakes I made on the first painting!”
Taking pride in his work, he posted his paintings on Facebook. It didn’t take long for family and friends to take notice of his craft! Requests came pouring in! His next choice was to paint a black and white oil painting of a mother and child as an anniversary gift. Although this one took a little longer, he was happy to have the practice with another style of painting!
Brian’s creativity and raw talent has given him the ability to span out into other creative fields. He currently also creates cakes, piñatas, and original charcoal and pastel drawings. After several other requests to create original tattoos he thought, “Why not?” He purchased a tattoo machine and has done some amazing art on his friends.
What started out as an activity to fill the still of the night has blown into a raging passion! His creative spirit has resurfaced and he’s extremely humbled and grateful for his God given gift.
Although Brian is not quite sure just where his passion for art will lead him next, one thing is certain! He has found his buried treasure, he is smiling more each day, and he’s ready to share his gifts with the world!
To see more of Brian’s artwork, please be sure to visit http://www.facebook.com/artworkbybrian.
Cheryl Copeland is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about life’s lessons and her personal adventure with breast cancer.