Friday, September 26, 2008

The Artist in Me

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." ~Pablo Picasso

I've labeled myself, for a long time, as a non-artsy person. I took great pains to avoid art class in high school and college because I "couldn't draw" and that meant I wouldn't get an A. (Chuckle appropriate, for those who know me.) Yet I surround myself with creative people. And, when I look deeply, I find that I have long used art as a way to connect with myself, to be playful, to share with others, and even to heal.

When I was 13, I lost my father to cancer. It was a traumatic experience. Not long after his death, I wrote a short story about a girl. I gave her the fictional name of Jessica. She, too, had lost her father. I don't think I ever showed the story to anyone. I don't even know where the story is. But I remember, so deeply, how important it was for me to express myself in this form. Putting my loss and fear in story form allowed my young self to assess things a little more objectively. And, if I recall, I gave her hope for a happy life. The tears run down my face as I type this.

Over the past few years, I've been learning that I can make art and that it still is very powerful, in so many ways. I love to take photos. I love to write. I am learning to sew. I want to explore mixed media collage...and so much more.

I've recently been absorbed in the bookTaking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts (a fellow blogger). I'll write more on this later, but let me say that the book is bringing to consciousness some deep longings to give my creative life more attention. So, thank you Kelly Rae!

And thank you to all of my creative friends who inspire me daily! First, to the DH, a life's artist. To my friends who make art with gardens and food and words and cloth and glass and paint and dance and beads and music and photos and clay and papers and traditional arts and so much more, thank you.

12 comments:

kelly rae said...

hi steph,
i'm so glad that taking flight is helping you to better recognize how creative you are! like you, i lost my father when i was a child, and that experience certainly comes thru in the healing expression of making art. it's good for our souls :)
all the best..
xo

VeeTea said...

What a beautiful post! I think you're very creative. You always have such lovely images in your blog, and you sometimes even include poems. So sorry to hear about your father. I also lost mine to cancer, but I was older when it happened. It's wonderful that you're getting in touch with your creativity more now! Go, Steph!!!

Michelle said...

Steph,
Have you heard of the book, "The Artist's Way"? Its wonderful! Its a guide to living an artist's life by incorporating creativity into our daily lives. I highly recommend it!

MEP said...

Michelle read my mind. I was just about to recommend The Artist's Way as well! The author is Julia Cameron.

Philigry said...

i agree. i think art is something that can come in many forms. i used to write every day, and i majored in English in college. I never did anything with it though. I think it is a true art form though. So is photography!

Cindy said...

Steph,

Words cannot ever completely capture what is in my heart when I say that I support you WHOLE-HEARTEDLY in owning your inner artist. As you know (but others here do not), I started that journey a little over a year ago myself so I know what a big step that is to give yourself permission to claim that title for yourself. CONGRATULATIONS & WELCOME!

I have come to the conclusion that art is a form of love actually. If it weren't, it wouldn't heal or touch people like it does. So, give yourself permission to freely express your artistic self - it will transform both you & the world!

Love you!

Blogging My Life Away said...

I am so excited for you! I love Cindy's comment...art is a form of love :) i feel my books for the grandkids and kids are a form of art and words and it all comes from love :) You Rock as inspiring me :)

Steph said...

Thank you to all for your encouragement! And for sharing your stories. I have heard of The Artist's Way, but have not read it. It's moving to the top of my list!

Jason said...

Thanks for just being you. An inspiring good friend. Priceless!

kas said...

Sweet Cousin ~ making a little treat for you to help celebrate your beautiful creativity. love ya!

artandtea said...

Hi Steph,
I really enjoyed reading your heartfelt post. I think you are a wonderful artist - in your life, in your writing and in the way that you experience tea and share your love of it. You inspire me with every new post you write!
I am also reading and enjoying Kelly Rae's book, too.
Hugs from
Karen

Alice said...

Oh, my, I've always thought of you as an artist. Every one of your photos shows such care and creativity in what you're doing.

I'm sorry you lost your father at such an early age. I can't begin to imagine how hard that must have been.