Sunday, March 2, 2014

Is There An Artist In The House?

I've always prided myself in being an aware person, but some major things in life seemed to have escaped my keen observation early on in life.  Growing up I really did think school came easy to everyone.  I had no idea some kids struggled to learn.  I also thought everyone could draw and write.  It wasn't until I was much older that I discovered some people really can't draw a straight line even with the use of a ruler nor could they write a short story or poem if their life depended upon it. For some reason I kept everyone on a level playing field where no one had an advantage over another person. The only area I can say that I recognized some people "had it" and others didn't was in their athletic abilities.  I was awkward and uncoordinated when it came to sports and physical activities. My older brothers were the jocks in the family and I grew up paling in comparison to everything they could do and eventually did do.

Because I didn't step forth and shine in anything, I felt I didn't do anything well.  In fact, looking back on it, sports seemed to be such a focus in my household I knew I had no way of ever competing for that limelight due to my inability to be an athlete.  I've asked myself many times why I never realized people really aren't created equal in all areas and I've also asked myself why no one ever recognized that I showed promise in some area unrelated to sports.  Maybe I wasn't meant to become a famous artist or author, but who knows what could have happened with some early encouragement.  Every kid deserves to be made to feel special and to have guidance while seeking out their place in the spotlight.


Shortly after Margie, my childhood best friend and I had reconnected after an 30 plus year hiatus, she showed me a picture she had kept that I had drawn when I was around 11 years old.  It appeared to be the head of a Barbie doll.  After I got over the shock of her having kept my picture all those years, I slipped once again into wondering why no one ever encouraged me to draw or to do anything creative when I was a kid.  Sure, I doodled and dabbled whenever the spirit moved me, but I was never encouraged to continue drawing and I never tried to take it to the next level until June 2012 when I announced to my mother one day that I was going to paint a picture. 

I figured how hard could it be especially since I had been able to draw my entire life.  My mother just smiled at me and said, "okay!"  I'm sure she was expecting my first attempt to be nothing short of a hot mess.  To be honest I'm not sure if she even ever noticed I liked to doodle when I was a kid or that her only daughter could draw a straight line without the use of a ruler.  I'm sure I was noticed in many ways, but to be honest, I never felt that way.  I never had the spotlight except for all the negative things I did. 

This one of my latest paintings
During my mother's middle aged years she become an accomplished local artist and spent many years being the star of the family.  She enjoyed her stardom until she gave up painting after a bout of cancer and the rapid succession of several other harrowing tribulations. As I  left to go plunder her studio for art supplies that had been sitting there unused for about 5 years, I told her it was my turn to shine. She laughed at me until she saw the finished product.  Her comment then was, "I think you have something there, kiddo!"

10 comments:

  1. Ouch.
    I grew up in a family where only maths/science ability were valued. I don't have the skills to anything like the degree other members of my family did (and the survivors do). I don't think it is a co-incidence that I grew up believing that I was stupid, and was in my thirties before I realised it wasn't true.
    I don't have any special skills/talents and wonder whether perhaps they have just been buried/stifled for too long.
    And I love and admire your painting. Your mother was right - you do have something there - and I am glad that she could finally acknowledge it.

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    1. I think you have sold yourself short and that you probably can do whatever you want to do. It just takes determination.

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  2. I can't draw a straight line without a ruler. Nor am I good at sports. I am still trying to find that thing I am good at.

    But you. "I think you have something there, kiddo!" Indeed. Nice work!

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    1. Thanks and perhaps I need to copy and paste my response to Elephant's Child and say the same to you.

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  3. I think you have something there kiddo . . . sad no one encouraged to sail . . . how about now!

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    1. I receive lots of encouragement now, but even without it I'd still continue painting...it relaxes me and it's nice to see the finished product and know I created something.

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  4. Replies
    1. I'll post more but I'll probably do it on Mildred's blog since this one I'm trying to keep for my younger years.

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  5. An excellent beginning....those eyes are so soulful. Keep it up.

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    1. Thanks! I did that painting for my sister in law. The dogs are hers.

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