Monthly Archives: April 2022

An Indifferent Artist


Jute, Ribbon, and Elm Twig Basket

I am not sure if Indifferent is the right word or not, impatient may be accurate also, but I’ve been an artist on and off my whole life, from the time my mother taught me to draw a face in profile in about the third grade and someone proclaimed me to be “talented”.

I’d sketch, paint some, and then abandon it for a year or two. When I went back, I’d mature a little more as an artist, and do more amazing things. Well, it seemed so, anyway.

In between I’d do other things, just getting busy with other interests, and a lot of reading. I never considered myself to be “creative”, I’d have to have a pattern, a photo, or someone else’s idea to be able to work out something to make. But I also sewed, crocheted, knitted, repaired things, did woodworking, and writing.

When I had kids it was harder, but I worked in some sketching and painting, some of it which I was fairly pleased with. Bob Ross rocked my world for a time, when I finally learned to paint a landscape, though never as well as I wanted.

When I began web development, it took everything. It took my reading, my writing, my organizational skills, and my artistry. I poured it all into my clients’ needs. I just had nothing left over for anything else, but it was fulfilling in all of those things! It was all my work and all my hobbies, wrapped up in a business, and I loved it! It is the thing that taught me to work out my own ideas and become more creative in a way I loved.

Then we got knocked out, and I’ve done just a few things since then, mostly with the Wacom and PhotoShop, but not much. Everything we owned was stolen and we got almost nothing back. I had no paints, no equipment, barely had a computer, and it took years just to get a Wacom again. I’ve been weary, and have had no resources for art. I have brittle bones, and a mitochondrial condition that progressed during those terrible years, which takes much of my energy and leaves me unable to contemplate a large project. So I’ve done mostly small things.

The business faded, for reasons I could not control, and today I am making a basket. I learned basket weaving from my mother many years ago, but this is something different. It is not the thing she taught me, and I am not using a pattern. I am mostly pleased with the results.

I have paints again, finally, my birthday present from my husband. Brushes, paints, an easel, and totes to put it all in. Basket reed too. No small investment, and I am not sure whether I can realize any kind of return on it other than revitalizing some skills – and a piece of my soul, perhaps.

I struggle to find the words to explain what it really means for me to be filled with inspiration to paint a thing, to make a thing that takes ENERGY to complete. Heck, it takes energy just to get the stuff out and organized into a project.

But I have an idea. Not an original one, but MINE. I’ve never painted still life art before, and I have an idea of a type I’d like to try. It seems achievable without overwhelming my body.

I have a few more things to arrive before I can carry out the grand plan (not so grand after all, but which involves more than one type of art work), so today I am making a basket out of sisal and jute, and it is looking far better than I thought it might.

I’m still an impatient and indifferent artist. But last week when I felt the desire to DO this growing in my heart and mind, I knew one thing. I AM an artist. And I always will be.

Whether I can ever produce any works of note matters to me. I’d like to create something worth preserving for posterity. But if I don’t, I know it is part of a recovery. Of more than just gaining strength. And if it never turns a profit, it will likely lead to something that does. I’m blessed with a husband who sustains that. And I’m ok with it also.

Grow a Garden!

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