What does it mean to be an artist? For some, the image of paint splattered hands and canvas comes to mind, hours spent holding a brush whose job it is to take ideas from the mind of the one in whose fingers it is grasped and translate it to visual input. For others, it echoes with the sound of resplendent and transcendent sound waves that waft over air currents. And yet, for others, it is about tappings and typings, scratchings and scrawls on paper.
I have long surrounded myself with creative types, since I find that they experience richer, juicier lives; sometimes in their heads, sometimes out in the world. A rich inner life can translate magically to a gorgeous outer life. The energy is palpable and contagious. These folks are not ‘starving artists’, but are, as my friend Ruthanne Wood claims for herself and those she attracts; ‘thriving artists’. They (and I see myself as one of them) observe the world with a child’s imagination and through the eyes of awe and wonder. “How can I translate this into a message for the viewer/listener/reader?” is often the motivation. It certainly is for this wordsmith who paints word pictures. I had not ever seen myself as a graphic artist, although my talented son is. He is able to pull ideas out of his vivid imagination and draw Japanese anime characters, flowers, animals and last year sketched a fashion design for an outfit he thought I oughta be wearing. A creative cook with an eye toward culinary school, his pastries are a work of art as well.
In March, I spent a few relaxing days with friends in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. One of our Goddess Sistahs is artist and art teacher Liz Wright, who led us in creating mandala drawings. She provided us with small pieces of colored cardboard, a drawing compass, a ruler and colored pencils and markers. We were then left to allow our imaginations to run wild….and that they did. I am used to coloring outside the lines in most areas of my life, but in this case, the initial structure was linear and then circular and then free form; an apt way to view our existence. All are important components. I was pleased with the results which was coincidentally matched the colors I was wearing that day.
These folks have their own ideas of what art is: