Monday, January 26, 2009

Life with Art

Today I started Kelly Rae Robert’s book Taking Flight: Inspiration and Techniques to give your Creative Spirit Wings. And I am inspired. So what if I don’t know how to paint. So what if I have no supplies. I’ll simply get some. I’ll learn to paint. If I can teach myself to type I can teach myself to paint. Right? Right!

So over the hill and through the snow off to the art store I went -- with a coupon of course. As luck would have it my coupon expired (it seems January has gotten away from me). I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and bought the supplies anyway; my entire spending allowance for the month. I am leaping in with both feet.

My first project? Kelly Rae’s Whispers Art Journal; a place to record all those whispers, those yearnings, those little hints life has been dropping. My secret yearnings have been to write, to photograph and to experiment with other artistic mediums. To allow myself the freedom to get dirty, to mess up and to blissfully play like a child.

My head, however, has had a different narrative; you are not born of creativity. My parents did not (do not) have a creative bone in their bodies. Instead their collective marrow pumps out science, facts and practicality. As I am genetically linked to my parents I’ve assumed I, too, lack the necessary tools to lead a creative life. Art was not an important part of my upbringing. I was raised with the mantra: you are science, you are responsible, you are practical. Could that be any more boring?

I followed my given path well; off to college straight from high school, graduating early, working a few years and then back to obtain my veterinary doctorate. At the same time I married and had kids.

Now I have it all. Family, education, career...only something is missing. Joy. This is not to say there aren’t moments when I’m happy, because I am happy, I’m content. But I’m rarely joyful, filled with that bursting happiness, that giddiness, that thrill. Arms spread to the side, palms open to the sun, head back, mouth open - gleeful, spinning, spinning, spinning in a field of flowers -- this is what I’m seeking. I am seeking absolute Joy.

And I hope to find it by welcoming creativity into my life; by opening myself up the possibility of what could be. By writing, photographing, knitting, painting, drawing and playing I'll be a better mother, better doctor and better scientist. Life will be better with art.


Gayle said...

Wow, Shalet, you put words to what I have been feeling. I'm so glad to know I am not alone in this craving for joyfulness. This is such a beautiful post!

Jessica said...

Yes! beautiful post. I need more of this too, and will check out your tools. I also need to use my body more to cultivate joy . . . and I don't. But will.

*I want to hear about your journey!*

dairy princess said...

Gasp! We are on very similar creative wavelengths! Just go for it, go all in...I will too! :)

ELK said...

life IS better with art...
you can do this!

Amy said...

I hope you find what you are looking for but I fear that there is security in our searching and fear of the unknown in our finding. Good luck to you my friend.

Jamie said...

Life IS better with art. That book really got things going for me. Once you have the supplies your're IN! I have to admit that my first project was a disaster. I made myself finish it and then prompltly stuck it in the back of my closet so I wouldn't look at it anymore. I didn't want to throw it away as it's symbolic to me - my very first art piece out of elementary school. But, I quickly got started on the second and third and now I'm ready to tackle a few more. Congratulations on your new art supplies! Can't wait to see what you create.

G. K. Photography said...

I can totally identify with you here, Shalet!

I am *finally* coming to that realization myself - that letting my creativity flow is essential to my being.

Because doing something because I'm *supposed* to or because it's *practical* is quite soul-draining.

It's time to follow that inner voice.

Good luck with your paintings!

Aubrey said...

Funny I just got this book in the mail today. Granted, I am an artist, but I think everyone has it in them, and everyone needs a push now and again! I am hoping it inspires me as well.