Saturday, October 06, 2007


Scanned images

A year ago today, I posted about whether blogging makes one a better writer. I'm still not sure although I am surprised to see me still posting. It has helped me get over some of my essential shyness about my writing although I am still inhibited about trying to publish. The one commenter on that old post--I was still a rather lonely blogger--said to write for myself and to record my life. The message she sent to me was essentially, "chill," something I say to my kids all the time. So I chilled and here I am still posting.
In a way this post is not about writing, however. A long time ago, I admitted in this public/private forum that I have a wish to be a writer. I still don't tell this to many people I know "in the flesh." I think I keep it private because it seems so trite; doesn't everyone have this dream to one degree or another? I wrote my first short story at the ripe old age of 5. It was about a nosy vitamin and had illustrations. I think, like many people, I fear that I lack the talent, perseverance and stamina to actually produce a literary work worth reading.
This post is actually, now that I get to it, about art. I am not a wannabee artist. I love art but if I ever had any dreams of making art in a serious way, they probably died when I skipped kindergarten, the year one learns how to cut and color. I was good at math and science and learned very young that one couldn't be both left and right brained at the same time. Or so I was taught. I also had an absolute need in the deepest psychological sense to find a career that would earn me a stable living. I suppose my mother's drift from one dead-end sales job to unemployment and back again influenced me in that department.
There wasn't much art in my life through high school, college (I was pre-med after all), medical and graduate school, internship, residency, fellowship and early career doctor and parent. On many days I was too burnt out to read a novel much less do anything personally creative. I managed to sneak in one or two right brained efforts over the years--a major in French literature, study abroad, a dance class or two and a brief spell of piano lessons. I also learned that I have my own personal kind of learning disability, an inability to "see" things well in three dimensions. Especially if you have to mentally rotate them. Gross anatomy was a struggle and the world should be grateful I'm not a neurosurgeon. I also discovered that I do not see binocularly through a microscope. This never hindered me much but I was quite surprised when I learned that other people used both eyes.
I'm not a wannabee artist. I want to play with art. I am a sucker for books that purport to make one more creative. The first one I ever bought was probably "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain." Sadly, I never did. And I still cannot draw. I'm not being modest either. Fortunately for me, or unfortunately if you count the cost, in the craft-happy 21st century there are no end of books to indulge my habit. Books about knitting, crochet, sewing, and lately the paper arts. Great colorful books to drool over, look at the pictures, pornography of the artistically incompetent or (as the books would say) artistically undiscovered.
All of a sudden the kids are older and more independent. The career is largely under control. Amazingly I have a little bit of free time. I read more, write more, take photos and the occasional art class. The last class I took was this summer. It was a five week course entitled "Altered Books" but the material veered all over the map of making things with and out of paper. Five sessions to learn how to tear, fold, paint and glue paper! Alas, the teacher has moved to another state, summer is over and I haven't found another class that suits my needs, schedule and, more importantly, my kids' schedules. So it's back to the books.
The latest is entitled "Kaleidoscope" and, of course, is intended to "Spark Your Creativity." What is amazing is that I actually did one of the projects. It is entitled "Mail Art to the Self." Maybe the postcard with the words "No child left behind" caught my eye. After all that law is one of my pet peeves. Or maybe the mail part was appealing. Whatever. I did a project from start to finish and have begun the follow up project. I had great fun too!
This post is getting long so I will end as I have begun, with a scanned photo of the results. Please don't laugh at my efforts. I noticed that some of the background shows through more on the scans so I altered things a little further since scanning.

More scanned images


Larry said...

I liked this post a lot, as you really expressed yourself.

I never wanted to be a writer.I was not a good English Student.I like to blog, because I can put across ideas that would otherwise be trapped in my mind.

-The one thing blogging allows you to do is express yourself.You get to choose when and how you would like to do that.I hope you contine with blogging, because you have a lot to offer.

Amishlaw said...

I know you only from your blog. Your blog, particularly this entry, is evidence that you are a writer and a very good one. The photos you post tell me you are also an artist, and a very good one. So, what can't you do? You haven't reached your limits yet.

self taught artist said...

is that a collage? I like it.I think combining things is one of the most difficult things to do. i'm glad you had fun and as a bonus it really turned out nice. it's thoughtful and something i want to look at and study. glad you shared it!

sarala said...

Thanks all. The feedback is appreciated.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Your words and your photographs are wonderful art... it's not all brushstrokes and clay.

I love what you have posted here, the layers are beautiful!

I collect postcards, and I have quite a stash, but I would add both of these in a moment; they are really good.

Be proud of what your mind and soul create; if it comes from within you, it is good.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Crafty Green Poet said...

I enjoyed reading this post. I like the photo of your artwork at the bottom too. Unfortunately the photo at the top won't show for me.