Thursday, December 2, 2010

Possibilities everywhere!

I hate art!
9th grade art.  Thank God, this was the last year of the torture.  This idea of creating works of art with pencils and paints... well, it was for artists!  We definitely were not in that group.  Let me speak for myself.  I definitely am not an artist.  I'm a scientist.  Scientists don't have to draw free hand.  We can use the ruler and measure things.  As the art teacher walked towards me, I tried to figure out what I would say about the art homework.  I did do it, then it got lost somehow... it really did!  I think water spilled on it, and I hurriedly did it over, but it didn't come out right.... sigh. 5/10 was written on my masterpiece and circled in red.  At least she didn't give me a failing grade.

By 9th grade, we were what they called 'streamed'.  It means we were given some choices about which subjects we wanted to take based on aptitude and preferences.  I was in the science stream.  No more art, home economics, history and geography.  I wasn't good in those areas anyway.

Maybe I like artsy home decor....?
So fast forward 14 years and I'm standing in our newly acquired town house.  I had fanatically watched This Small Space on HGTV because at the widest part, the house was 12 feet across.  Take out 2 and a half feet for stairs in some places and you have a really small space!  As I absorbed some of the images on the screen, I decided I could try a few of the ideas.  A home decorator was born!  I redesigned the house, imagined walls moving from one place to another, imagined colors, fixtures and cupboards, countertops and faux finishes.  I ragged, marbled, sponged, rolled, wiped almost every wall in the house.  I broke and cut tiles, and had them put in my own pattern.  I thought about it, tried it and it was beautiful.  Even the mistakes looked good.  Maybe I do have an eye for color... in my house anyway.

I can draw!
Fast forward 13 more years and I'm sitting at the table with the kids doing some sketches of rodent family members (did you know that a prairie dog is a rodent??).  Simonne is becoming impatient because her drawings aren't looking the way she had hoped they would.  After complaining to her about her attitude and then throwing my own tantrum ("OK forget it!  We'll do math!"), I decided to model what I wanted, and sat down, selected my rodent (the squirrel), got a good photo of one and started drawing it.  I then colored it in, blending colors like an (amateur) artist to create shadows and highlights.  As I admired my work, I felt so inspired that I went ahead and added 3 more drawings of rodents to our taxonomy.  They look good!   I showed them to Isaiah, who commented, "You're an artist, hon!"

So who says your past is predictive of your future?  A guy starts gymnastics at 17 and gets good enough to compete at the national level, a parent learns to read from his second grade son, a 40 year old high school drop out goes back to school and gets her MA, a 12 year old girl with autism speaks for the first time, a 70 year old man discovers a recipe and becomes a millionaire.   Possibilities are everywhere.  I may actually do a painting pretty soon.  By the way, I'm also becoming a history buff.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Faith! I also grew up with the notion you were good at things or you were not, and in the last case you better skip it. Now I have finally let go of that belief, I also start to find new areas in which I can learn to excel. I really have a fun learning new things like running, singing, writing. When you become really comfortable with your art, I hope you will post some pictures in this blog. You are a true inspiration!


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