Friday, March 18, 2011

On BEING an artist

One thing I have learned from The Artist’s Way, referred to by those of us who are actively following that path as TAW, is that BEING an artist is given to everyone. It is a gift from the Creator, but not everyone wishes to unwrap the package and find out what is inside.
I have been a risk-taker most of my life. I have fallen in love, been married, had children (a huge risk, in my opinion), traveled to many places, been active in various sports and learned new languages. Many of my friends have given me nicknames to show their appreciation/awe/fear/jealousy of my adventures. More than once I have heard someone say, “I wish I could do what you are doing....
Anibal Moreno, an artist from Bogota, reminds me how
to stretch the canvas in preparation for putting my sketch
on it and making it into an oil painting. Anibal is also
my neighbor, living in the cottage on the property.
So it is with being creative and being an artist. It is about DOING it. It has nothing to do with whether one is gifted enough to be entitled to a particular creative act... because it is not enough to have the gift if the package is never opened.
There are a number of acquaintances I have made through MM and what a vibrant and creative bunch they all are! One has come up with a way to motivate people to raise funds and awareness about MM, another sends out endearing handmade ‘buddies,’ many know of the sensitive poetry that Susie has produced and made into a book, "A Power Within - Poems of Love," while others are sewing and knitting dervishes or advertising executives or pianists or playing the saxophone and so it goes. 
How can I be less creative when I have such shining examples before me? I am not sure if it was the threat of MM so close in my family that made me decide to take yet another leap into a new culture and to really focus my creative energies. But here I am, and here’s what I did this week: made cookies with local ingredients, had a ceramics class, got some oil painting instruction, had a Gestault session to free up my art spirit, wrote a poem in Spanish, went to a new theatre group gathering and took some more photographs. Oh, and discussed plans for the local chorus group to be re-activated.
This is the preliminary work. I think I will call it just
"Window," or in Spanish, "Ventana."
Being retired has its benefits, but there are pockets of time for any individual who wants to take the risk to open the package. Kids just naturally want to rip open the box to find out what is inside and try playing with it. When we ‘get more mature,’ we forget about how to play. I guess I’m just too curious and too willing to try something new... except for jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, BK! I may have to get a little bit older before I want to try that.
The bowl on the left was my first one and I have since
removed some of the fingerprints on the one to the
right. Today I dipped them in colors! The ladies here
are also taking the class, but are much more advanced.
I recently wrote on a website for artists’ that fear is the biggest obstacle to success and being afraid to dream of success means one doesn’t dare have hope of overcoming the fear. Margaret recently wrote about the need for cancer patients to have hope...(scroll down the link to that title.) and my friend BK has written about hope as well. It is essential for life. And being creative is part of the energy that makes life worth living... for whatever time we have left, because no one knows when the Green Door will open for them.


  1. I like the way you describe it as a gift waiting to be opened! I like it that you are living your life to the fullest and in such exciting ways! There are far too many who are not "maximize-ing" the one life. It just makes me glad to read about what you choose to do with your days... especially when you are able to do it. "teach us to number our days aright that we may return you a heart of wisdom" Psalm 90:12
    Let's live this one life well, to the fullest and live each day joyfully and with adventure! In the course of it, make others happy too!

  2. I am sure that I am making someone - or several some ones - happier... except for the ceramic instruction, I am paying in pesos for the artistic adventure, but it is worth it!