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Pat Mistretta: Travels With My Art



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A Column by Pat Mistretta

H i, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Pat Mistretta. I too, am an artist. I cannot begin to tell you how many years it took before I could say that.

You see, for over twenty years I was in a profession that I never wanted to be in. As a child, I had always wanted to be an artist and fashion designer. I lived, dreamt, slept and ate art. I painted everything and anything in school, with my work always adorning the hallway walls.

Fly Little One, Fly, by Pat Mistretta
"Fly Little One, Fly" by Pat Mistretta
It was who I yearned to be. In high school though, I fell in love and totally ignored and gave up my art. Up until five years ago, I forgot that person. I forgot that dream.

Through Divine Intervention, I came across The Artist's Way. That very book changed my life. For those of you not familiar with it, it is a wonderful self-help book for those aspiring creators that long to be the artists who they are inside.

One of the biggest keys in that book is journaling. As a result of that journaling, I watched myself transform from the tired, single parent who lived in a limbo, to what I am today. I used to be on auto pilot; I was pleasant, I was smiling and I went through the motions. Inside though, I was empty. I had the rewards of motherhood, wonderful family and friends, but there was an inner emptiness that I never paid attention to.

As a result of The Artist's Way, I reconnected not only to my art, but to my inner Self. Now, there is no more emptiness. I have finally become me and who I have always been meant to be.

So, here I am contributing articles to not only tell you stories of my own inner journey, but hopefully to shed light upon your path as well. And you will see through these articles, the spiritual journey my art has taken me upon.

When I first began the Artist's Way, my journals were nothing but gripe sessions. I am amazed now how much negativity they were filled with; how much negativity was within me. Perhaps it was all those years of pent-up denial. You see, to my parents, my artist child was just a “look what she can do,” as opposed to “look what she can do with it.” There's a big difference. Artists to them were dabblers, not doers. It was the typical reaction of art being a hobby, not a career or a way of life. Needless to say, my artist child was never nurtured or encouraged, which is so typical for all of us.

But through my journaling, I wrote every thing and anything that came into my mind. I did not censor it. Pages and pages became volumes of fears, doubts, anxieties, and frustrations. Some volumes were on the same subject, over and over, with frustrations and fears repeatedly expressed. But then, something happened. It was quite subtle at first, and almost a faint whisper, but my words slowly became those of possible hope and even inspiration. It was as though in the quiet recesses of my mind and negativity, a glimmer of light started to shine through. So faint and small it was hardly recognizable, but it was there nonetheless. And, as each page and volume became filled with my thoughts, my hopes and now, yes, even dreams, I started to see a shift. A shift in my thoughts, a shift in my moods, and even a shift in my personality from “I can't” to “Why not?” The negativity subsided as I ever so slowly, subconsciously learned to deal with the issues that made me feel that way. I cleaned house, so to speak. Not only did I eliminate negative relationships, I started eliminating negative thoughts. Suddenly, my artist surfaced and she was to be denied no more. She is the very core of me. She is who I am. And through this process I found not only the strength, but the conviction to be able to say these words in my Artist Statement, “Although on an intuitive level, I have always been an artist, it has only been in recent years that not only do I acknowledge my artistry, I claim it.” What powerful words, “I claim it.”



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