When I packed my life in 4 suitcases last year I had to choose which items would make the massive journey from New York to Tasmania. Anything that I packed meant it was more important than bringing something else. Anything deemed less important was either given away to my old students or put in my storage unit. It was scary and freeing all at once. Obviously one of my largest collections was my art supplies, surfaces and tools. Choosing which supplies came was like choosing a favorite child. At the time I wasn't really doing a great deal of traditional painting and because my oil and acrylic paints were some of the largest and heaviest items, they ended up in the storage pile.
I certainly had some regrets over that when the first job I got here was to teach acrylic painting to adult learners. I had to re buy a collection of paint in a country that is absurdly expensive in comparison to NYC supplies and I wasn't familiar with the brands either.
Putting that aside, teaching the acrylic class (and later on in the year I started teaching watercolor as well) has reinvigorated my love of creating and painting. Now when I work digitally, as I do in many projects, I crave the feeling and texture of paint on a surface. I've been reminded that not everyone has had a long history of artistic exploration and I am the luckiest person in the world to be able to do it so often.
I get to witness the magic of painting in my adult students as they take the class for a variety of reasons- some haven't painted since they were school kids and others just want to try out a new hobby. Mixing colors in a palette and experimenting with different harmonies and textures can be therapeutic bliss for anyone.
I will never leave my paints behind again.