Saturday, April 25, 2009

How do you know if you're an artist?

Autumn Leaf Card
4 3/8” x 5 ¾”
Blueberry leaves, handmade paper

For my Blog Triage class, my latest assignment involved reviewing a previous blog post, and as I looked at one of my earliest posts, I started thinking about how I've gotten to where I am now as an artist. I'm wondering if you've ever done that.

For me, I see mundane "random" pieces that have somehow come together.

First, feeling like I made a huge mistake after my first child was born. I didn't think I was cut out for being a mom, and I kept feeling this overwhelming desire to "create." I didn't have a spare moment to myself, but all I could think about was having a few minutes to make something beautiful for my home with my own two hands.

Second, one dreary January day while folding laundry, I watched a TV show about making handmade paper. It seemed really easy
. Later I watched a show with a woman pressing flowers in a microwave. I was amazed at how colorful they were. Maybe I could combine handmade paper and pressed flowers?

I did. I sold my handmade paper pressed flower cards and pictures at craft fairs, and made enough money to pay for all the flowers and garden supplies I needed. I had a nice hobby going.

Then one afternoon, at a noisy Holiday Craft Fair, a stern looking older woman stopped to look at my cards. She wasn't the usual friendly faced craft fair shopper, and she made me uneasy. Finally she held up one of my cards and said, "This does not belong here. This is art. You are an artist." I didn't know what to say, but I thanked her as she gave me a business card for a local art foundation.

I joined that art foundation, got to know the artists there, and eventually during the last few years I have given myself permission to call myself an artist.

For me, being an artist has been an unexpected journey. Isn't it amazing how God graciously gives us seemingly random experiences, and uses them to make us who we are? I am thankful.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

12:23 AM  
Anonymous Carol McIntyre said...

Hi Elizabeth;

What a great story! I enjoyed reading about your evolution as an artist and those unexpected comments or gifts that come along in our lives. I always find those "gems" motivating because they cause me to pause, reflect and take in an emotion or thought I could not have predicted.

Keep on blogging! Your fellow blogging student.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Carol, it's nice to meet you! It was great doing this assignment because I never really reflected on how I became an artist before.

I look forward to getting to know more about you on your blog!


7:03 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Leslie!


7:06 PM  
Blogger Kim Bennett said...

What a wonderful story! I have to agree carol sometime we find those "gems" in unusual places. Glad you have found your creative voice!


1:41 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thanks Kim,

It is neat how those "gems" do show up when we least expect it, and how insignificant they seem to be at first!


7:49 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

What a great way to save flowers forever. I think the more we appreciate flowers, the harder it is to capture their image, their essence. Seeing another person pursue the character of the flower is something in between inspirational and encouraging.

3:32 PM  

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