Freedom Through Art

Every single week I create some sort of visual art. Sometimes it is photography, other times painting or mixed media art. Sometimes I do random collages on my phone, or other digital art. Creativity is important to me. I like to use different materials and I am obsessed with color.

However, I am not an artist. At least not by the common definition of an artist as someone who is professional and highly proficient at art. I have absolutely no training, which I’m sure shows! I have not taken a single painting or mixed media class in my life. My senior year of high school I was fortunate enough to be able to take an independent study in photography and I definitely learned a lot in that. But that was when I was 18, and I haven’t had any training since then. I’m sure I could use it!

I create art because I love to do it. For me it’s very therapeutic. I am a writer, not an artist. My preferred medium is poetry. Due to my obsession with color and sometimes with texture, I still feel the need to have another outlet besides words.

Art changes me. It gives me a sense of freedom. Art prevents my life from becoming mundane. Although I do go through periods where I focus on the written word more than visual art, and other time periods where I just feel stuck creatively, art keeps my life fresh. There is always another color combination to paint or another technique to try. As I dive further into mixed media there is always another materials try to use.

On the surface, my life would probably seem dull to anyone who took notice of it. I am a housewife. I do not have any sort of job or attend any kind of school. My days are scheduled around my husband’s work shifts, my daughter’s tutoring schedule, her speech schedule, and my doctor’s appointments. Nothing sounds too exciting there. What no one would guess is that art keeps my life absolutely fresh. There’s always something new to do. While cleaning or driving to appointments might look the same everyday, every time I approach a canvas or a piece of paper it’s different. I can always try something new. My life never gets monotonous. Of course, part of that is my poetry, but a lot of it comes down to painting, photography, and other forms of visual art.

Foreign Language, Primal Sister

The clouds drag over

the prairie to work

in the horse fields.

Rain—an instant sister.

Outside the barn,

the Mandarin language

in a raincoat.

Always the words

wonder where they

will fall when they

drip off the tongue.

My sister floods the plains

as a gift to our ancestors

who wove bicycles on looms.

Instant sister never arising

from good faith,

but falling from certainty,

a meteorological right

I’ll fight for.

In the wind,

Mandarin chatters.