We recently received an email from Marisol, one of our customers, to whom we asked to tell us a little about how Paint by Numbers has impacted her way of seeing things. We will be expanding this section with more testimonials. We hope they are helpful and help promote painting as a hobby, therapy, and tool for spirituality. Enjoy!
Retirement at 55, and now what?
I want to share my experience, the special bond I started with paint by numbers canvases over two years ago.
I am a woman, a mother of three independent daughters, divorced, and an employee of a well-known bank since the beginning of time. Two years ago, I entered the bank's early retirement list, and I confess that I felt excited. The financial conditions were not bad, and at my newly turned 55, I could eliminate stress, early mornings, and dedicate more time to what I really like: friends and getaways. An idyllic scenario; I think among these aforementioned friends, no one failed to congratulate me with a touch of healthy envy.
And the first day came. No more early mornings, breakfast on the terrace, reading, lots of walking, staying up late, reading... And the first month passed... And the second month passed. In the third, I started getting bored, proposing various trips to my friends, but they were working and it was impossible for them; calling my daughters more frequently, but they weren't available for extended conversations beyond what they had done before; going shopping, but there was no longer the need to maintain a public-facing appearance (therefore, an unnecessary expense); I got used to going to the cinema alone, which I had never done before (What is a movie without post-movie discussions?); attending exhibitions and conferences alone, always ready for any proposal, no matter where it came from; I devoured books; I enrolled in a school to learn German; more hours at the gym; I started a Japanese cooking course... and a long list of other activities that I won't detail. In conclusion, I reached the night exhausted, and the next day, I imposed activities on myself as if they were a job, as obligations to have the feeling of "doing something."
Until one day, someone in one of the courses told me about the satisfying and relaxing activity of painting by numbers. I was almost offended; my daughters used to color those kinds of drawings when they were little, and I was not a child, to be precise. He clarified that, even though the technical basis was the same, I should search the internet and add the term "for adults" to my search. He pointed me to the Canvas by Numbers page, where he was a regular customer. I found it without any problems, saw that the investment was small, and decided to try it with a canvas of a girl dressed in red, very Parisian.
When it arrived, I was struck by the detailed canvas (not just paper, a real canvas) and the number of color pots. I got to work. I never believed I had artistic painting skills and deep down, I was convinced it was a waste of time and money. Just like the Japanese cooking course, at the same level (Japanese food in the restaurant; paintings on the walls of a gallery). As I said, I started, and that afternoon, I didn't call anyone, nor did I miss going out. I looked up, and several hours had passed as if it were nothing.
I started my first paint by numbers on the dining table, with little natural light, and clearing away odds and ends to make space... Today, two years later, one of the rooms has turned into a very personal space where, with background music, a movie, a radio discussion, or podcasts of my interest, I spend several hours a day on my "paintings by numbers". I even answer the phone reluctantly!
There is no anxiety, the feeling of loneliness has evaporated, and I don't need to chain one activity after another to feel busy. Every morning, after breakfast, I enter the studio, look at the half-finished painting, and can't wait to pick up the brushes and continue painting. I congratulate myself and am amazed by the result. I think my self-esteem has increased. I enjoy outings with friends, but at their pace, as they are tied to a schedule, and I still take courses occasionally. Except for occasional exceptions, I have stopped going to the cinema and conferences alone. I am selective about how I spend my time, I do what I really feel like, and nothing more. Of course, I haven't stopped traveling a couple of times a year, as I used to.
As for my paintings (plural, as there are many), I have made great progress, and I choose more complicated ones each time, I have even dared with a Van Gogh. Some decorate my house, others I have given away, or they are in a drawer waiting for a purpose... Of course, the Parisian girl in red is in my studio, and every time I look at her, she reminds me of how much I enjoy painting.
-Marisol R. (Madrid)