You know how sometimes you just can’t say “no” even though you have no business saying “yes”? Yeah, I didn’t figure. Guess it’s just my weakness. A weakness that got me roped into an art project competition…yeah, me!
Now, those that know me know I was the kid that got C+’s in art and couldn’t draw a straight line. No kidding! So why would a 35ish- year old woman not know better than to hop on the art train? Well, because, first of all: a friend asked me to play. How does one say “no” to a play date? Second, sometimes you have to try something new and different. Third, there are also times you just have to be okay with sucking at something and still go with it. Fourth, I think maybe it was divine intervention.
So I agree to compete against my better judgment. Well, “competing” may be a strong term to use – let’s go with I’m “participating.” I was happy just to be nominated. Ha ha. My friend, out of the goodness of her heart, picked up the project instructions and materials for me and hand delivered them. Guess there’s no backing out now! J Anyway, I checked out my resources. Yikes! Three words, some brown craft paper, some nasty polka-dot swatches of wallpaperish stuff, and some colored pencils. Really? You think I can make art from that????? Yeah, not so much. I’m not sure I could make art from an art kit, a lesson from Picasso himself, and the magical powers of Gargamel. But I’m game and I’m not willing to be counted out just yet. So I unwrapped the colored pencils which are tied together with a piece of tie-dye canvas and one of those fake berry stem things that Martha Stewart-types use on their packages to make the rest of us look bad.
As I’m about to chuck the canvas piece in the trash, I realize there’s writing on the other side. You know how sometimes you just know you were meant to find something? Yeah, obviously, the lady who put the kits together didn’t know me but she must have heard about me. The canvas might as well have been a fortune cookie as it read:
“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Woodes
Mmm…are you kidding me? It’s like a dare. So the canvas and I both know I suck at art, but John Woodes there, he thinks I should suck it up and be better than that. Well…I’d love to… if I FREAKING knew HOW!!! Fine. If that’s how it’s going to be laid down, I’ll play, but I ain’t promising pretty.
So in my infinite wisdom, I let a piece of canvas mess with my head. Days go by, and I’m still pondering ideas of how to make an art piece that looks like art and not like my neighbor’s dog threw up on it. Sure, I had some great thoughts of what should go on my final masterpiece, but there’s a big difference between thoughts and delivery. See, I can have a creative thought. Caring it out is a whole ‘nother deal!
After two weeks of throwing ideas around only to have them because trash can art, I realized the obvious answer. I am no artist. (Really, you’d think I’d have come to that conclusion much sooner, but surprisingly enough, I’m a little stubborn sometimes and miss the message!) But what I can do (well, at least I pretend I can do) is write. So hello, dumbass, why not go with what you know. Because again, do not let that which you cannot do interfere with what you can! – Brilliant, huh? So it came to me that perhaps I should throw down a poem on some paint and call it good. I’ve even mastered decoupage so why not slop that on, too, and consider it a victory.
And you know what, that’s what I did. It’s done. It looks a little 1970’s backwoods bad hippie artist, but what is art if not another person’s trash? And that’s the lesson of the day!