Excuse Me, I Need to Vent
Published on July 6, 2008
I realize this morning that I have a little over four weeks left of my vacation then it’s back to work. Back to another year of school! Clay, tempera paints, construction paper, wacko parents, middle schoolers, grading, grumpy teachers, and actual fun and laughter…I miss my students laughter the most!
Through Dirty Footprints I’ve met some great ladies here in the blogging universe….I’ve met Sandy, who then introduced me to her fourteen year old daughter Carly. Carly, not only is a little hottie, but she is also an aspiring artist. Both Sandy and her have recently expressed Carly’s frustration in trying to learn to paint.
Learn to paint. Something I struggle with too, and I’ve been through art school, and technically I have a legal document stating I’m authorized to teach this ancient art. So what is it about paint that draws so many people to it? Cave men did it–and we’re still doing it. We’ve come so far to have fancy computer programs that by only moving a mouse around we can create beautiful masterpieces, but still, we want to feel the paintbrush in our hands–I love it when I get paint all over me. Kids at school, they’ll freak out when this happens and we don’t have enough time to wash up cause we got into the zone of painting…and I tell them: “wear it as a reminder all day that you are an artist.” They like that.
I think as an art teacher I am perfect. I love to dabble in everything…clay, painting, sewing, mixed media, drawing, etc. But as an “Artist” I’m beginning to feel a bit scattered. I look at all these great Artist blogs, and everyone has their thing….their voice, so to speak (no pun intended). Maybe its just as an Artist I’m moody. Years ago I had my abstract mood, then there was my portrait mood, then my shoes and dresses mood (yes, I used to paint super cool paintings of shoes and dresses), and then my Picassoesque mood, then my landscape mood, then my funky tree mood, and now I have no idea what mood I’m in! I wish I could just grab something and go with it…really dive into it…go deep! Instead it seems like I just swim across the pool, do a few laps, then get out.
So I relate to Carly’s frustration. The same frustration that hits us at the beginning of our journey as Artists can hit us in the middle of our journey. But maybe what it comes down to is not what we are doing as Artists, but why we are doing it. Why did the cave men paint? Why did the Gothic artists paint? Why did Michelangelo paint? Monet? Picasso? Modigliani? Frida?
I’m feeling scattered because I don’t know what purpose my art really holds. For me, the creative process itself is very meditative and many times therapeutic. Making art and yoga are the two definite companions I know will see me to the end of my journey on this planet.
That’s it!! Maybe that’s all I need. Art is what balances ME! Art is my buddy! Art is just plainly what I do…for no other reason then that. I don’t depend on it to make money, I have a great job that does that already, I don’t depend on it for fame, because I’m not interested in that. I depend on it to make me whole…to create conversation both within myself and with others….. to make my home and my friends home a little prettier….and just for plain, old fashioned fun!
A-ha!!! Who cares what I make…it’s the making that is important! That’s my whole motto when I teach others–both kids and adults—why not keep that motto with myself.
Huh, I was all worried about nothing! The answer was with me all the time.