by Ted Gillespie
As a husband and a breadwinner, my art always took a backseat to life’s responsibilities. Today at 61, I can truly call myself an artist and love going to my studio every day. Throughout my life, I felt compelled to create art, but always felt I had to put other obligations first. I was unhappy going from job to job, went through two divorces, lost everything more than once and was suicidal at one point. No one took my art seriously, not even me, but I kept painting. A turning point for me was when a therapist asked “why don’t you paint what you want instead of what’s expected from you?” Today, I have been happily married for 14 years to a wife who is supportive of me and my artistic practice. I am more prolific and happier than I have ever been in my life. I manage my depression and it doesn’t manage me. I create the work I feel driven to make without being afraid whether it will be accepted by family, friends and society. I use my work to express my voice on politics, ecology, social and cultural conversations we tend to ignore. I create because I have to and I hope people enjoy the work. If not, that’s okay. I won’t waste any more days of my life.