Sometimes it is a good thing!
(hmm, must have forgotten to click “publish!) I sometimes wonder if I am the LAST person to have clear vision! Lately, I’ve definitely benefited from a different viewpoint.
I remember when I was about 8 years old and got my first pair of glasses. We had recently moved to Germany and as the new kid, I was seated in the back of the class, observing what (everyone I didn’t know yet) was really engaged with. It was great.. no homework and i drew on my papers, made up stories, read all the books. I kinda hung out but was really having a very self-directed good time, thinking I was just doing what I was supposed to do.
When we had the parent-teacher conference about why I had failing grades, the teacher (not a particularly snuggly teacher, as I’d been used to) tells my parents that I refuse to do homework. Wait, what? There is no homework… she says, it is always written up on the board! and I refuse to do it! She grabs my hand, drags me to the front of the class and shows me the board where, bazinga!, there were words and a whole line of homework that I didn’t see from the back of the room. I was a tad crushed and pretty much hated the teacher at that point. We moved again soon after that and I got glasses. And i saw leaves, blades of grass and all of the details in visual texture that I hadn’t noticed I wasn’t seeing. The world was not always the wet-on-wet watercolor when I sported my jeweled cat-eye glasses!
I still find it easy to just work on the inspiration at hand, and there is so much. I have to remind myself I can do this, whatever this seems to be. And i have to remind myself to look up and notice things.
Lately, I get to notice how resilient the pear tree is, after storms blasted out the center with wind and cold, the power company shaved off because it resides near a transformer. The pear tree has burst into a brilliant bloom with the petals blowing like snowflakes onto the ground in anticipation of another year. Same for those frozen little peepers that come up every spring and sing as loud as they can, ready to procreate and celebrate warm sunshine.
I went to the performance of the Guerilla Girls at the NC Museum of Art with some strong women and was reminded how important it is to stay included and involved. And to support things that are important.
Two yarn companies that I like have closed. It is increasingly difficult to find local supplies, tho I am trying to #Shoplocal and #Supportlocal, always. When I am at festivals, folks ask where I learned to weave and where can they learn locally. Where did I learn about printmaking? My best answer is, if you want things to exist locally, support them. If the local sources are missing what you want, let them know so they can still offer what you want. Take a quick survey when asked by an arts organization, chat with shops, connect with artists at opening receptions. Help to make the community interactive, resourceful, forgiving, able to change and inventive.
Art and Fine Craft is important to a fulfilling life- visual, performing and literary. It has many layers, one of which is business. Make purchases when you find what inspires you. When you commission or grant artists, be sure to take the compensation seriously. Exposure bucks don’t pay bills and I never seem to find a kind way to say that.
Be the change you wish to see.
I try, but I can do better.