Thursday, January 27, 2011

Adding Color to my Life

Going outside my comfort zone…. Learning art alongside my children
Why does this bother me so? Can one be considered crafty but not artistic?
I can wield a camera and be thrilled that I can capture in a picture exactly what was in my mind’s eye….
But the same can’t be said for my drawing and painting.
Making a shading graph about caused me to hyperventilate and I’m pretty sure the term is not “shading graph” and that scares me too…. How can I know what I’m doing when I don’t even know the proper names for what I’m doing?
Our teacher wanted us to save every slip and bit of paper that has even a hint of color or interest….
We’re working on collage….
This pushes me to my clutter limits. I am not a paper saver…. I feel like my mind seizes up at the thought of saving bits and pieces of what I consider trash and clutter….
Oh, I know the saying…. One man’s trash, another man’s treasure.
Having a hard time seeing the treasure here and that makes me feel like a failure too…. I can’t see life this artistically. I don’t look at an apple for the thought of drawing its shape and texture and what shadows it produces in what lighting….
Apples are for eating
And baking….
I see the beauty in a fresh baked apple pie…. I even smell and taste the beauty in it….
But I can’t draw it for nothing! Take a wonderful picture of it, yes…. Draw- nada. I’ve got nothing.
My children don’t seem to have this trouble…. They jump right into each assignment with a thrill of anticipation…. Their still life drawings might not look much different than mine but they don’t mind… it’s another opportunity to learn and develop new skills….

They see differently than me…. They are “getting it” while I am not.
My oldest stops me while I am sorting junk mail and admonishes me to save it for collage class…. I sigh. I just don’t see things through artist’s eyes….
Is that true? Really true?
I hesitate now because I know I’m selling myself short- I’m complaining because it doesn’t come easy to me.
Because it is taking me way out of my comfort zone and I don’t want to go there.
Which means I’m turning down the opportunity to learn something different- to show my children what it means to try, what it means to persevere even when you struggle….
I’ve got a great life lesson opportunity right here- not just for them but for me.
And so begins the change in my perspective…. I have made a decision that I’m going to step out and I’m going to try and I’m going to learn to take something that makes me uncomfortable and make it…..
Mine.
My first step is to stop looking at the whole big picture and instead look at the pieces….
I can do that.
I am learning to see the beauty in the mistakes…. In the imperfection.
And wouldn’t you know it- the uncomfortable is becoming easier and is spreading farther into me and teaching me that all my life is a lesson in art- there is beauty in the mess, in the imperfection….
The canvas is being painted and painted and painted…. Reworked daily….
The collage that is beautiful that comes from the snippets of messes that make up a life….
I begin to see me in my artwork…. To feel and see the beauty that sometimes doesn’t come easy but instead comes thru the difficulties and pain
Thru perseverance and determination.
Which makes what I am accomplishing mean more than just some paint spread across a piece of paper that sort of resembles a winter scene
I am stretching myself and growing and gaining perspective and in doing so I am showing myself and my children that we must not avoid doing the hard thing because it’s difficult and we just might fail- we must do it simply for the experience and what it teaches us.
Wow, if I’d known all that was going to tumble and spill all over me I don’t think I would have had the guts to pick up the pencil and pad, the paint and paper and try.
Which makes me so thankful once again that God in his infinite wisdom doesn’t show me the whole picture- lest I turn tail and run, but instead pushes me forward to do the next hard thing and the next until I get to the point where I can stand back and admire the workmanship and open my eyes to see its beauty.
And in doing so- doing the hard thing becomes a little less difficult and begins to add that much more joy….

Photos:
Thru the eye of my camera I see the beauty....
My first lesson with acrylics
My birds nest collage made from saved bits and pieces of paper.... The beginnings of my ink drawing of a squished pine cone (I just started this)
Winter Farm- in watercolors (also not quite done)

1 comment:

  1. THanks for your comment today. I'm so glad you're pushing past your hesitation to try art. It looks beautiful. And ironically, do you know that I sometimes have to force myself to look at the big picture because I can get stuck in the details. I guess we all have different challenges to stretch us. Blessings to you and yours!

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