Monday, May 6, 2013

Motivational Monday

(Toni Morrison)

I love art. I love to look at it, to learn about it, to understand it. I practically minored in art history in college. And yet I always consider myself one step - or more - removed from actual artists. I can't draw, I can barely paint a room (you should see my office) and my greatest sculptural achievements are the worms I crafted out of Play Doh for my five year old nephew.

(Now, I know a number of you are saying - as my husband often does - writing is art. Yes, it is. No argument there. It's just not the same, to me anyway, as actual physical art I made with my own hands.)

A few months ago, I found - buried under other papers - the newest adult community education catalog with the collage class I had marked when I first noticed it. The class I marked...but never registered for. It started that next week. Before I could come up with my usual excuses - and in the spirit of the Year of Yes -  I registered right away.

And you know what? Among the scraps of art paper, the old stamps, the ephemera, the glue, the beads and the buttons, I found my niche. I found a new way to layer, to craft and to create, to tell a story. I loved it! When the class was done, I was determined to keep going on my own. I made a list of supplies I'd need. I already had paper scraps and glass tiles and beach-combing finds. I had the support of my husband to make a mess. So...that's as far as I got. And I have no idea why. Okay, that's not true. I just didn't make the time to do it, to play, to lose myself in the joy of creating. I let doubts and fears and household chores get in my way. It's safer to stick with what I know, to stick with words. 

But we are all artistic beings, and I bet most of us have more than one way to showcase that. If you're not sure how, go experiment! Build Lego houses, take photographs of your dog (or tortoises!), bake an unusual flavor of cupcake. (Ahem! Make a collage, maybe?) Let us know how it goes.   


  1. Glad you took the class anyway! I'm a musician, and I consider that an art form as well.

  2. Alex - I always wished I had musical abilities! I just don't have the ear for it.

  3. Madeline, you never know where that collage class (or techniques learned in collage) might appear in one of your wonderful stories! I'm always trying to learn something new...keeps the creative side stimulated. So I wonder, what class will you take next? :) Yay for trying something new!

  4. Oh, good for you! I am exactly like you--no fine art skills whatsoever, but I find if I think about it, I can be crafty. I can sew a straight enough line to make curtains or baby blankets (made our Christmas stockings) and when I was in college I used to use a toothbrush to spatter water color on typing paper to make festive stationary. Encourage that side of you and enjoy yourself!

  5. I love to paint murals in children's rooms. Haven't done it in a long time, but it's something that I enjoy.

    I agree, we're all artistic beings one way or another.

  6. Stacy - I love taking classes and I'm keeping an eye out for some new ones. :)

    Hart - I need to encourage that side of myself way more than I do.

    Jay - I want to paint a mural - or something! - on the walls of our little courtyard. Maybe two tortoises...although they would probably look more like two green blobs.... :)

  7. Awesome! Way to push yourself and learn something new. I think I need to expand in the opposite direction. I pursue TOO MANY arts. Now, getting a grip on marketing and business? That's a somewhere I could benefit.

  8. Congrats on taking the class.
    My new skill I learned this last year is cooking.

  9. Crystal - I used to have a lot of projects going on at once so I cut back...but I think I cut back too much. :)

    Jai - that's another thing I'd like to do/get better at. Good for you for learning something new.

  10. So proud of you for taking the classes! I love learning new skills! HUZZAH!!



  11. What a wonderful idea! I admire your spirit and follow-through.

  12. Valerie - thanks! I do, too.

    Donna - I only wish I had more follow-through. :)

  13. "we are all artistic beings" - absolutely. Some things we label "art" but there is much we do that we don't call "art" but which has artistry in it. I write computer programs, for example, and it's certainly possible to write beautiful code. And ugly code...

  14. Simon - that is such a good point about seeing the art and the beauty in areas we might not normally see them. I'm not a math person, but there absolutely is something amazing in numbers. And in code. :)

  15. So glad you took that class- now you know that you are a (physically) creative person and that you enjoy it. You can lean on that and take it up again when the whim hits you! I dabble in everything creative, it's such a great soul soother. Make a mess, make a masterpiece- sometimes it's the same thing :D

  16. Lexie - "make a mess, make a masterpiece - sometimes it's the same thing." Love that! :)

  17. I love photography in addition to writing, but I always have creative urges toward so many other types of things. I wish I could paint. I'd love to create quilts effortlessly. To sculpt, to create with my hands, to have something visually stimulating.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

    1. I like photography, too, and I'd love to try sculpting one of the these days. I wish I could make a quilt, although I don't have much use for one here in FL. :)