First Date

 In The Artist Date, Weekly Forum Discussion

When contemplating this topic, my thought process went straight to my perceptions of what qualifies as art. I had always thought I had no artistic talent. Even my attempts at a stick man revealed a lack of personality and flair. Although I was taught at a young age to appreciate art, and that it can come in many forms, I didn’t think any art would ever come from me. Recently, I went out on a limb and decided to go to an introduction to painting night. I did not have high expectations, but I wanted to try something new. Now, not to say that I became a Picasso or a Rembrandt in one session, but I did have the opportunity to reinforce a life lesson: new behaviours and skills can be learned, especially when you allow yourself to be open to the experience.

The artist that offered the class gave us so many useful tips and tools that I really felt proud of what I had made. My youngest son thought so too – he built a very nice frame for my painting, which I will always appreciate dearly. I also found the entire session to be very therapeutic. It turns out that when I am so focused on the task at hand, my mind has no where else to go. As someone who is always thinking of 10 things simultaneously, I found the whole process very relaxing. I learned how to create the layers of colour, the technique of manipulating your paint brush unconventionally, or choosing to accept imperfections. I realized that just like life, I can change course along the way and still have a beautiful result in the end. It’s something that I want to do again. I would encourage anyone to attempt this activity, not only for the priceless, original piece of art, but for the benefit of total focus and relaxation.

There is a part of me that was always envious of people with an artistic side, but I now believe that we all have one, some of us just haven’t taken the time to explore, nurture, and embrace it. As a wife, a mother and a business owner -and soon to be grandmother – I often find myself caught up in these titles, and I forget that I need to take time to explore what makes me tick. When I allow myself to do so, many other pieces fall into place and I return to my duties with new inspiration and passion. Well, maybe not for laundry, I never seem to have passion for that task!

As I get older, I want to make more of an effort to try these type of new experiences. When I allow myself to de-compartmentalize what I hold to be my truths, I grow. It is only growth that allows us to be our authentic selves, and ultimately, that is what we all want to achieve.

Written by: Jodi Lynn Clark

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