I am an artist at heart. As a kid in school I remember the best part of class was when the teacher said we could add pictures to our project. I was all over those colored pencils and I usually took whatever creative freedom I could. I even remember being home sick in the 3rd grade and writing a poem about it with a lovely drawing and asking the teacher if I could read it to the class the next day. Yeah, I was special.
Over time I learned that I was ok at a lot of things, but with art and creativity I seemed to excel. Art became a way for me to go farther than anywhere else and it made me happy in a way other things hadn’t.
In high school I started oil painting and loved it right away. My first big painting was of a single drop of water falling. I was good at breaking each color down into a shape and section and representing that on the canvas. Many art projects later, I started college as an arts major. Over those four years I learned a ton about art and felt both good at it and bad at it at the same time. Mostly, I learned there was still so much to learn.
After graduation, I apprenticed under an established and successful artist in town. She was doing faux art, murals, and artwork and I got to assist her. In the first few months she gave me a lot of freedom to be in charge of things I had never tried before. Months passed, then years, and I grew from trying to help, to actually helping, then to being totally in charge of certain projects.
After Justin and I got married I slowly I began doing art projects on my own. I was also doing art lessons for young aspiring artists in my free time. After a few years of this, Justin and I had our first baby, Titus. Since I had always planned on staying home with my kids, I stopped working and Justin started to fully provide for us.
I thought it would be generally easy to take care of a kid and I thought I’d kill it with the homemaking stuff.
That turned out to be only kind of true and with a really needy baby and so much housework, art began to fade away. I always thought that staying home meant I’d finally have a chance to cover our house in art and design that were ours. I wanted colors, paintings and life on our walls. But I couldn’t make those dreams fit into the long list of things I needed to do and our walls remained a simple cream color. I began to accept this new life and decided I was taking a break from all art and that it would be good.
By the time our oldest turned six years old, we had added another three kids to our party and I was still ok with being a non-artist. I was mostly just accepting it at this point because art simply didn’t fit in to my schedule and I had learned from many attempts that if I tried to make it fit it would be interrupted, incomplete and unsatisfying because I could never give it the time and freedom I needed to make it what I wanted it to be.
Although what I had known art to be had disappeared years ago, I realize now that it actually hadn’t stopped existing. That same feeling I felt when I used to paint would pop up here and there. I’d get that same satisfaction and fulfillment I used to feel except it would be in an unusual place or smaller measure. It was the same feelings, but the form was different.
I felt it as I collected a few of my favorite things and set them together on my dining room table with the light coming through the window just right.
I felt it when I was hanging out with my kids and machine-gunning photos on my iPhone, then choosing the perfect moment and editing it in my own way.
I felt it when I chose the perfect pillow and blanket combination for our bed.
Those things fit into my day. And to my surprise, I felt my art in them. I think it took me a while to accept that it was the same art, it just didn’t look the same. It was unrecognized, unnoticed and ignored for years.
Life is normal and all new at the same time. The same old things are starting to look different.
Now I see that I have never stopped being an artist, I just had to learn that art is bigger than the boxes I had put it in.
That’s what I’m learning, how to find art when it’s not obvious. And now art isn’t just something I do alone, because it’s not just my art, it’s Justin and my art. Together we’re not just noticing art, but looking for it. We’re opening our door and we hope you’ll step inside and see what we’ve begun to create together.
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