arts

IMG_2085To this day, log cabin–even log cabin crazies–is a favorite pattern of mine.

…go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something. Kurt Vonnegut

This: “…Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.”

I used to long for artistic skills – to draw or paint or throw pottery. Eventually, however, I realized that’s a rather limited view of art.

A year or two into quilting, I realized that even when using other people’s patterns, thoughtfully–carefully–selecting my own fabrics by what colors and patterns appealed to my eye was a form of artistic expression. And I realized it’s not about art, per se, as much as it is about the need to create. My quilts are unique to me.

I worked my way backwards from there and recalled how I dabbled in photography and stained glass in high school–still two mediums I want to revisit someday. And how as a young mother I looked forward to Super Saturday and sought out other craft projects with which to decorate my home, particularly during the holidays.

Since I don’t spend as much time as I used to or would like to quilting, I have turned to expressing myself through the lens of my iPhone camera. As when I’m selecting fabric for my quilt, I find certain colors, angles, textures, and lighting appeals to me on some subliminal level. When something catches my eye I often find myself flipping a U-turn and going back to see if I can capture it just right. Sometimes I do. And sometimes I don’t. But I keep trying.

Writing is a form of art. I find myself painstakingly searching for just the right word to express something that’s in my mind or heart and carefully putting phrases together in a way that will capture it just right.

Creativity is having the courage to tug at something from deep inside, work it together just right, and hold it to the light.

[Day 174 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]

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