My friend, Marie is blessed with the gift. Gracing her home are gorgeous pieces of art that she created herself. Marie could have her own show! She is THAT good! Unfortunately, she does not believe this. I've tried repeatedly to persuade her to at least join Facebook and post her work. But she has no interest in computers. Marie would rather be out living her life than starring at a screen. This is another thing I admire about her despite the fact I've become one of those pitiful screen people.
I love and enjoy art. I’m a highly visual person; I gravitate to things with eye appeal. Sadly, I have zero talent in this area, myself.
But art is subjective; something doesn’t have to be good to be considered art. I’ve seen artwork in galleries and for sale at an exorbitant price that look as if created by a drunken monkey and some fool will probably pay that price. This aside, even bad art can be interesting, everyone sees the world thru their individual filter and have their own interpretation.
I have always believed it's highly possible humans were created by DNA tampering and interbreeding with space aliens. But when I see photos of those Nazca lines in Peru, I can’t help but wonder how a society with a far advanced technology could ever produce such amateur looking art!
Frequently, people ask if I'm an artist. I have that look, they say. Writers are considered artists, because we too, create from our head. And it's an art to write a 30 to 60 second commercial, then get up and perform live before an audience as I’ve done at networking luncheons. Believe me as an introvert, I’ve had to take flying leaps outside my comfort zone to do that! But honestly, if I could choose my talent, I’d prefer drawing or sculpting.
After I published my 1st book, strangers asked, “Have you written anything else?” I found this insulting! Had I displayed a painting, no one would have asked, “Have you painted anything else?”
As a child, I never liked coloring books! They made me feel as if I was completing someone else’s work. I’d rather be given a blank piece of paper and create something of my own even if it was crappy or else go outside and play with rocks and spiders.
But there is no denying Marie's talent! Every October when she returns to Florida Marie enrolls in another Art Class. She's a natural and enjoys it, probably the top student every year!
Knowing from an early age that I had no skill in this area, I signed up for Art Class in the 9th Grade just because I thought it would be a fun and easy credit. – Was I ever wrong!
Most of the other students were no-talents like me, (a few were in denial about this) with maybe 3 genuinely gifted ones. The teacher possessed what most consider a strong personality. This squat man was loud, demanding, and swaggered when he walked. He was the type who made others want to either kiss his arse, spank it, or shove a firecracker between his butt cheeks and light it. I was in the latter category.
I think of art as something open with freedom of expression. Unlike writing, there are no rules and only guidelines, that's what I thought, anyway! Instead, there were lots of rules we were forced to follow. Mr. Loudswagger was a stickler about that! Some made no sense to me at all.
One in particular that bugged me the most: A drawing must start at the bottom of a canvas and work upward. He repeated this constantly! Well, I preferred to begin in the center and work around. And this is how I did it! Since our teacher liked to sit on his backside while we worked, I usually got away with it.
Then one spring day our class strolled to the park only a block away to sketch the statue there. It featured a curvy woman in a clingy garment. Grapes sprouted from her head instead of hair. She stood balancing a jug of wine on her shoulder with another spilling from her hip. This statue had been imported from Italy and was considered quite risqué in our (then) small coastal town. It has since been moved to the Historic Downtown area.
I seated myself comfortably on the grass. I began sketching in the middle as usual. Suddenly, I felt a yardstick on the back of my hand holding it down. A looming shadow overwhelmed my canvas. Yikes! It was Mr. Loudswagger!
"What have I been telling you for months!” he bellowed. “Always start at the bottom! Haven’t you been listening?!”
“OK,” I said nervously. Quickly, I pulled my hand away and moved my pencil to the bottom. He cleared his throat in disgust. I watched him swagger away. Then I went right back to drawing in the middle! This was MY work of art after all!!!
I passed the class with a C. The other no-talents all got B’s, but only the gifted ones received A’s. I had no desire to sign up for another Art Class ever again. I was clearly unsuited for it. Another issue, it was too messy for me! Despite wearing a smock, it was not unusual to show up for the following class with paint dotting my arms, face, or in my hair. However if you possess the aptitude and passion, I guess this is a minor thing.
I decided I'd rather just admire the work of those with talent.