I am very thankful for many things. As I began to write my list of "thanks" for my feather on the all school turkey, I realized what I am truly thankful for: the ability to realize that I have so many things to be thankful for. I am thankful that I can recognize that there are so many small everyday things to be grateful for. Life changes rapidly, and often times the changes do not go the way I want, but the "little" great things still remain.
I am thankful that I can experience thankfulness everyday.
Last week I had a wonderful classroom experience. I introduced Fauve paintings to my 2nd grade students. They loved the crazy color combinations. We then began to create a fall "fauve" drawing using chalk pastels. Yes it got messy, yes some children pressed too hard and made dust, but I still wanted them to experience the material.
One of my students has very well developed skills for his age. He draws on a regular basis and it shows. Kids get jealous and often say they wish they could draw like Michael. Michael now tells them that they can, they "just need to practice." Yeah Michael!
My joy was found watching Michael. He experimented with the pastel. He pressed soft, he pressed hard. He blended, he overlay colors. He discovered what the material could do and what it couldn't do. Watching him, I saw him tune out everything else. It was just Michael, the paper and the chalk. At the end of class he left smiling with chalk smudges across his face and I heard him say "that was really fun, it was different than the chalk we use outside."
I am really proud of Michael. He tried something new and made comparisons to previous experiences. This kind of thinking is usually rare. I myself rarely do this anymore when creating my own art. I try something new and decide quickly and simply, yes I like doing this or no I don't. I rarely come up with the comparisons to other past experiences or formulate the "why". I tend to base my judgements on whether or not my initial vision is being met.
Recently I began to experiment with inks on fabric. After an hour of working, I clearly stated that I did not like them. It felt too much like coloring in a coloring book. Simple, I will never use inks again and I wasted my money. After days of regret over spending the money on the stupid inks, I had a clarifying moment. It was the way I used the inks that was wrong for me, not the inks themselves. Will I use the inks again? Yes. I played with them for another few days and have discovered what they can and cannot do, I had fun playing.
As an artist I need to remember that art is not about creating the masterpiece, it is the journey to creating the masterpiece, having fun with the process and growing as an individual is what's most important.
I am a person of good intentions. I "intend" to do many things. I intend on living a healthy life. I try to exercise regularly, until I develop an injury. I try to create healthy meals for my husband, until I come home late from work and go for the easy meal from Subway. I intend on developing fun art lessons for my students, until the clay fight breaks out. I intend on being a blogger, until I convince myself I have nothing to share of value. I intend on being an art quilter until, I .....
I have way too many "Untiles".
Can I prevent most of them? Probably.
I follow many blogs. Many times blogs seem to get off track with their purpose. I really don't care about reading about cutting hay on a quilting blog, but I understand that it is still part of that person's life. I then justify by thinking "at least she is still writing".
I don't write. I don't write because for most of my life I was told I couldn't. My husband keeps telling me to write about quilting and publish it. My response is I don't write and I don't have anything new to share. My internal excuse is I don't make enough art to share. I need to have the art behind me to back up what I say.
I turned the calendar in my sewing room last Saturday to find a Gee's Bend quilt. I love the image. I am using the image to try to spark my desire to create. I have not turned on my sewing machine since the end of July, with the exception of mending my jammies. My sewing table is stacked with more mending, laundry, school samples and other assorted things that don't have a place. I need to clean my space.
I don't know why I stopped. The excuse is "real life got into the way." Making art needs to truly become part of "real life." I feel incomplete without it. I know I am happier when I make art. I work, I get tired, I take care of my home(maybe not to others standards), and I need to make art. Many people are looking for creative challenges, my challenge is "Make Time for Making My Art."
I need to do it and stop intending, no "Untiles" allowed.
I know I am a terrible blogger with too few posts. I would like to start blogging again and stay connected. I prefer blogging over Facebook, I still don't "get" Facebook. I don't think I totally understand the "why".
My problem today, my reading list vanished. I am currently following zero blogs. UGH! I may not write very much, but I do read. I attempted to "contact us", but my password was not accepted.