protesting much?

Hubby asked me last night why I’m not painting. More accurately, he asked me if I’d given up on the idea of creating artwork to order as a business like I used to. I can’t believe how annoyed I was by this. Still.

There are a couple of reasons why I am not making artwork.

  1. The artworks I was making would eventually end up in landfill. It’s true. They were not masterpieces. 90% of all the art I have ever made is probably already at the dump.
  2. I was no longer passionate about making art. I felt that whatever I am going to spend my time on now had better be engaging.
  3. My skills were basic and my taste, generally not on trend. #truthhurts

Other family members have asked me why I’m not painting but no one ever asked me why I wasn’t writing before. I didn’t call myself WriterPainter for nothing. I’m not saying I will never pick up a paint brush again, I just don’t have time to paint right now. I am prioritising. I used a technique to focus on the top 5 projects I want to work on that I have heard about from a few different sources so I am not sure who to credit. It’s very simple; you write a list of the top 25 projects you want to work on and then whittle it down to the top 5. The remainder, the 20 also-rans are discarded, completely, until such time as the top 5 are done.

As it turned out, my top 5 were all writing-related so painting has been relegated to the backburner. With no regrets. Nothing is wasted though; a character in my novel Hotel Déjà Vu is an artist so I was able to draw on my knowledge to write about her.

Am I protesting too much? I don’t feel like I have to justify my focus on writing, but for a while I did question who I am if I don’t paint? It’s what I have always done, and I did okay, but I never set the world on fire with my artwork. My creativity took a hit when I was making art to order and I just don’t ever want to do that again. I also felt that my skills as a writer had far more longevity than my painting talent. You have to choose your path and play to your strengths.

I’m a pretty good singer but I’ve got no intention of going on Australia’s Got Talent, even though a guy at a party I was singing at once told me I should.

‘You could be the next Susan Boyle,’ he said. Thanks, pal…

Feature Photo by Dan Cook on Unsplash


  1. Gershon Ben-Avraham

    Christine, being the lover of Paris that I take you to be, I know that you will be familiar with the work of Eugène Atget. Laure Beaumont-Maillet has described him as “the most celebrated of all the photographers of ‘Old Paris.'” She tells us that “He moved to Paris…to try his hand at painting, but was a failure at this….” So, what was his day-job? He taught himself photography and used it to produce “study materials for artists…mainly landscapes and plants.” Later, he decided to “make a systematic photographic record of Paris.” He may not have been glad, but I certainly am, that he failed as an artist, for it opened the path to his real gift. May it be so for you, and for everyone, who want to create things. Bonne chance!

    1. Christine Betts

      Thank you. Yes, I am eternally grateful to Atget for his work too. I hadn’t heard it said that he had failed. I am also eternally grateful that Vincent Van Gogh had failed as a preacher.

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