Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Art Day

I laid in bed on Sunday morning, not quite ready to get up. The first day of daylight savings time doesn’t count, so it was only 7:00, much to early to be active on a Sunday. With my eyes closed I was thinking about a painting I’d seen the week before, by an artist new to me. Her pictures were simple, her colors cheerful. Every one of her small paintings exuded happiness. They inspired me.

As I drifted in and out I thought of those simple figures, a girl, a monkey, a bunny, a lady with flowers. They were created with simple lines. I can do that, I thought as I drifted in and out of sleep. Today I’m going to paint a picture. I fell asleep for another hour.

When I woke up for good, I went down to the studio and cut a scrap piece of mat board. I envisioned my little picture on that piece of matting, mounted on another piece of matting. The picture was going to be similar to those of that new artist, simple and colorful, happy and light-hearted. I saw it perfectly in my mind’s eye. It wouldn’t be too hard to execute. A girl in a little jumper standing in the grass holding an umbrella at arm’s length to her side. Over the umbrella is dark, gray rain. Everywhere else is sunny and bright. The message would be something about attitude and expectation.

I sat down to my piece of mat board with my pencil, and began to sketch.

Upon seeing my finished sketch I decided to spare the paints and simply color the picture with different colored Sharpie pens. It looked nothing like the picture in my mind. It looked rather pitiful. I showed it to Husby with a laugh and he tried to be kind. It was bad. Really, really bad.

Scenarios like this occur once every two to three years. I envision the finished product, and discover again I have no talent or skill to create it.

The point of all this is that I took the time to just do something outside the comfort zone. It didn’t turn out well. Sure, there’s always a bit of disappointment when I can’t create something I envision in my mind. But then I went back to the computer and found the inspiring artist’s work, and smiled. I’m grateful to have been inspired to try something I don’t normally do, and I’m grateful to be able to look at the art of others in awe and joy. In fact, I might go back to her art again today, and make a little purchase.

Make today Art Day. Try something new. Play with some watercolors. Manipulate some polymer clay. Bend and twist some wire. And then, if you’ve got a little cash to spare, support an artist whose work inspires you.

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