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.
I am enjoying my summer. Summer in Colorado is so much better than summer on the Southeast coast. But sometimes I find myself thinking about Autumn, which is my favorite season. And sometimes after that Winter.
There is something so soul-stirring about winter. And something very intellectual about it too. Maybe it’s because you have to stay inside so much and use your imagination in your own little world. There’s nothing better to do on a nice cold day than to stay inside by the fire and read a book. Of course I’m the sort of person who always says there’s nothing better than sit and read a book. But I think winter forces you to search your velvet insides, or maybe yours is steel, and really locate your real name.
Of course winter is beautiful too. The Stark tree branches against the brooding gray sky. The frost that makes everything glitter.
And the extreme seasons, summer and winter, make us feel grateful. In the summer you become grateful for the cold. You learn to love it and to appreciate it whenever you can get it. Of course in the winter everybody complains about the cold, but then you develop an appreciation of heat.
This winter will be my first winter in Colorado, so I’ll see how I like winter here. But I suspect I will feel right at home.