Art Awakenings

37506_441327983827_530328827_5763961_6087928_nIt was from listening to the school-aged kids talking among themselves, that I came to this “train of thought”. They were discussing their favorite subjects and had the same ones that I had always enjoyed…Art, Music and Gym class.

As my mind considered a profound post requesting the incorporation of all early childhood subjects into the “fave three”, I realized it is already done in the better schools (including home schools).

Another impetus to this post, was last night’s longing to dabble with art again. I’m no professional but have sold a few pieces and enjoy the act of visual art creation, very much. The computer has allowed my creative juices to be released in writing to the extent of overlooking a “lost love”. It is easier to sit down to a computer than to drag out art supplies in the company of children. An art studio would fulfill many dreams, indeed, but isn’t happening in the near future.

Then I began a mental journey. Just when, where, why and how did I become an artist? I realized that there was one moment that gave me a “sight” that would give me pleasure for the rest of my life.

First, I have always wanted to be art artful. I have guided many preschoolers in their elementary art. Some kids, just aren’t interested. But, offering them the “sight” is what I’m really after.

What is the “sight”? It is the ability to disengage our minds from what we are looking at. Remember when kids draw their first pictures of pets? They put two eyes on one side of the animal’s head and the legs always count to four even when they are not really visible. They have yet to learn to “see” only what is there, not what they know is there.

I was lousy at art. I can still see the red-letter “C-” on a fourth grade diagram of a house fly. Then in sixth grade, and amazingly with a not yet dead interest , our class was given a science/art project on behalf of animal conservation. It is amazing that my Art classes had been devoid of Art learning to this point. In those days, it was all about producing a picture suitable for sending home, more than an education in the Arts.

I chose to reproduce a poster of a squirrel. As I struggled with the seemingly enormous task, my science teacher recommended that I turn the poster upside-down and try to draw the lines as I saw them. Eureka! That is where, when, why and how I learned to “see” the whole world differently.

I can attribute the ember of art desire, that I still had, directly to seeing country artists on hillsides with pads and paints. I specifically recall pressing my face to the car window and admiring them while thinking, “I want to do that.” Makes me wonder how they learned to “see”?

You want to hear something really cool? When I have spent a day drawing or painting, I see things especially clearly. Another world opens up! If I ride along in my car, everything becomes color and lines beyond notice to the average “eye”. Having experienced this, enlightens me to one reason why the “masters” wanted to stay inside that “world”.

I’d like everyone to have the opportunity to see the world just like that, now and then. I offer this to my kids and hope they are able to use their eyes separate from their minds. Heck, we already know kids use their mouths, that way, all the time. 😉

A funny thing happened…I was engaged.

Are you one of those people who “engages” others? You know, eyes forward and making contact with those folks who have their eyes up.

That’s a marvelous way to have fun and ,of course, learn.

After my early morning blogging fun, I went to the grocery store. Living in a small city, I recognize many people and come to feel that I know them. My first sight was a young man soliciting credit card applications for his bank. He was standing at the entrance. I shouted out to him,”Selling cookies?” When I reached him. We shared a laugh and he followed me into the store. As we walked in, I offered him an “opening line” that might be useful in engaging the next person.

“Did you know that it is International Women’s Day? That is a tidbit that you could use when opening a conversation with customers.”

He said,” Wow, I didn’t know that. Thanks.”

The lady walking in behind us joined in. “I just found out about the event from an email this morning. My friend in Europe told me. It’s a BIG deal over there.”

Then the lady and I shared our dismay that the interest seemed low in the US and went about our shopping.

This happens often with me. Rarely, is “running to the store” uneventful or boring. I cannot seem to walk around without engaging people. There is a line between engaging and stalking though. A brief exchange is all anyone wants or has time for. I’ve had just a few instances where an especially lonely soul wanted to come to dinner! Thankfully, those are rare and an engaging person gets a sense about who to talk to after a while.

My point is all about taking an active interest in people and your day. It’s fun and makes for a fellowship in your community. I like friendly people.