Friday, January 8, 2010

Digging Up Bones

For words of affirmation, validation and acknowledgment, I would prostrate prostitute myself willingly.

Disregard or no response makes me want to stop trying.

Ridicule or derision causes visceral nausea, tears, incontinence and the protective, instinctive roll of a potato bug, armadillo or hedgehog.

There was a time when you could easily manipulate me with words. Unhealthy; If you approve of me, I'm OK and will let you....

A good coach of any sort is able to pull the best out of me with words. Healthy; I'll die trying if you believe in me and appreciate the effort.

Almost fifty is nice. That need for approval went to nip at some younger person's heals. Giving encouragement away, giving what I want and need most, is something to spend the rest of my life refining. When I think of finishing well, this defines it because the ripples go so far.

These pictures are from around 1980 ~ I was twenty and younger. They are in a sense exhuming a grave, as they have been shuffled around through about 20 different household moves. I forget about them. They surface once in a while but there is a stink, or some pain surrounding them that I don't relish examining by opening. This is it ~ all there is.

Today was the day. As I scanned them, I looked deep inside. There has been a surprise inside, a present much more significant than merely the Cracker Jacks kind.

Without any classes, training or instruction of any kind, I created these. Some are copies of famous artists, some are copies of a card or picture I loved, and some are original. I had no idea how to use pen and ink, charcoal or pencil. Vulnerable to expose that faces, eyes, and perspective eluded me completely!

The smell and feel of toothed paper and a sharp, soft leaded pencil comes back even now with these words, and I feel such pleasure.

Bashful as I was, if I showed my drawings to anyone it was probably a close friend or family member. The response to me taking this huge risk was mostly kind and under whelmed. [yawn]

Never mean, just disinterested. I translated that lack of enthusiasm and apathy as; me and my drawings were dumb, not very good and embarrassing. I began to agree and stopped drawing altogether. Being creative is a must, not an option for me, but I deliberately killed the urge and desire to draw.

Compared with my aunt, uncle and grandmother, it seemed natural. Art like this was normal in our family, so what? They were each incredible self taught artists who splashed in their personal puddle, but never exposed/sold their art much. My uncle tried to for a short time, to make a living at his genius, but took his life too soon for anyone to see it. I'm sure he, like Van Gogh, never knew what he had was so valuable.

I'm coming full circle here. I could cry and whimper that nobody took an interest in helping me develop this gift. Or, I can ask myself why isn't there a pile of pages, years and years worth...... anyways?

Being intrinsically motivated is easier now - I don't need the external encouragement so much; the thing, whatever that is, is it's own reward.

If you know of a person who has unique gifts and talents, please encourage them; listen and look at their offerings. Anyone who risks the adventure of being artistic is worth admiring. There is nothing more fun than noticing and seeing the work of artists and letting them know you appreciate it. It's how we kindle each other, blow the coals into flame.

When we create, we give pleasure to our Creator. This I know.









































14 comments:

Grandma Pam said...

And this must be the seed of your creativity - I had NO IDEA that you were an artist -- I am so touched that you shared these! You're writing never ceases to touch me - hugs to you again and again!

Kathleen said...

Aahh Pam, you are a gift to many. Someday, when I grow up, I want to build quilts like you. :)

em said...

oh my goodness. i had no idea, as well! these are amazing! thank you so much for sharing! every time i think i know you, there is always more to know about you. you are truly one of the most amazing, deep, creative, full-hearted people i know. you have some amazing gifts! i really like the last one...is it a girl on a swing?? beautiful.

Mark (under construction) said...

Great Post ...

Great drawings ....

"If you know of a person who has unique gifts and talents, please encourage them; listen and look at their offerings." - will do.

Kathleen said...

Em, you use your gifts of hospitality and creativity with cooking to bless. Thx.

Mark - go for it! :)

Anonymous said...

I have seldom seen any of your art work, but do have that one of Mary playing the flute, and treasure it. in fact was just looking at it today. I recognize where you got your inspiration for the child climbing the stairs. As you Mom I was unable to encourage you in something I was not a part of, did you draw these sketches after you left home.
I think your problem is you are so creative that you have not honed in on any special one.
Love you
Mom

Anonymous said...

Kali,
These are absolutely amazing! You are so gifted!
love you and thank you for sharing,
ss

Craig said...

Our 21st wedding anv. is Jan. 14th. Married 21 years to this beautiful artist. I'm not sure I've seen them before. My Love you amaze me, what a gift of drawing!:)

Kathleen said...

Thx Loverby and Sue. Yes mom, my problems are many.

Anonymous said...

I woke up with the thought this morning that you need to write and draw a book and publish it...BTW, Your mom did not say your problems are many she said you have so much creativity it is likely hard to figure out where to put your energies...I want you to understand that she, and we all know you are gifted and we hope you do too...

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the last anonymous writer who understood what I was trying to say, I have always appreciated your many talents and have encouraged you for many years, especially in photograhy first then your writing. I am waiting to see which one you really get serious about. Life is truly and adventure.
Mom

sherri said...

As a mother of three artists...may I just say I am blown away by those of you with this gift. It is beyond being able to create what the rest of us cannot, it really is the gift of noticing the things the rest of us do not. You were/are very talented. I can't help it, I envy the gift! God bless you.

sherri said...

Wise words also.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for sharing Jordan's web sight with me, Sherri. He is amazing. Keep encouraging him. And thanks.