Je suis une artiste, n’est-ce pas?

I love art.  I have been on my staycation (side note:  Oxford inducted this word to the dictionary along with chillax and bromance.  Cankles was rejected.  Interesting, yes?) this week, and one of my excursions was to a local art museum I’ve had the privilege of visiting a few times before.  I was elated to find upon this visit that Impressionism was the current exhibit.  I was greatly enjoying the paintings when I came upon one that I found stunning.  Curious as to the artist, I glanced at the placard and my eyes widened.  The placard read, ” Pierre-Auguste Renoir,” one of my all-time favorite artists!  I have seen a number of pieces by incredible artists in person before (Pollack, Monet, Picasso, Rembrandt, Duchamp, Degas, Warhol, Van Gogh, Rodin, etc), but I don’t think I had ever seen a Renoir.  I soaked it in, getting as close to the piece as I could without warranting interference from security.

I was reflecting again on what a treat this experience was this morning, and was reminded of an art analysis class I took at a community college while I was in high school.  Our final project for the class was to make a book that consisted of the subject matter.  So, for instance, if the subject was “baby,” the book cover might be a diaper while the pages were baby wipes.  I was, uh, unfortunately inspired by a classmate when I chose my subject:  narcissism.  I had this idea to use a styrofoam wig head for the book cover.  I painted the head, glued a wig to it, and added false eyelashes before cutting it down the middle from ear to ear.  I added hinges and a ribbon necklace kept the book closed.  Inside the hollowed head were pages made of reflective material and the like.  I can’t remember what all was on those pages, but I do remember the project was a hit and received an A+ grade.

A fond memory, but it left a sad aftertaste.  That was a very creative idea I had at the age of 16 or 17…what happened since then?  I do not consider myself so very creative now, especially since my day job is in the cerebral side of fashion. 

I used to be “arsty.”  I had my first singing solo at the age of 5.  At 15 or 16, I played a role in a play that involved a ballet solo.  At 18, I danced a solo for my church.  When I was 4 or 5, I won a Mrs. Fields drawing contest for my age group.  I would go on to win a few more coloring contests at church functions.  In 3rd grade, I did a “show and tell” on my shading technique for drawing and coloring.  At 7 or 8, I had a sketchbook or two, and I took private art lessons in high school.  In junior high or high school, I built my own dollhouse and furniture using cardboard, cellophane, tempera paint, match boxes, and toothpicks.  I studied calligraphy and greeting card construction for fun.  I used to write plays that my siblings and I would perform for our parents.  In high school when I was homeschooled, my mom had me start a school/family newsletter for extracurricular activity:  I edited and directed the newsletter and my siblings contributed.  I once wrote and illustrated a children’s book for a gift for family friends.

So.  As I was remembering all this, I thought, Wow, once upon a time, I did awesome things.  Now…I don’t.  🙂  And then I remembered my writing, and a fashion illustration I did Monday for a friend, and some decorating ideas I have…  I suppose once artsy, always artsy.  All is right with the world.  🙂

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