Key 8: Art

Week 23: Is Art the Name of Your Dragon?

Greetings Artsy Journeyers,
Welcome to June, our month to look at Enchanted Key #8-Art. The very word, “art” may give you the heebie jeebies. For many, the Dragon chatter around this subject is loud.

Take a deep, cleansing breath, exhale, and remember your first associations with art. Do you recall any early messages about it from your family? Good or bad? Did you have your first exposure to art from them or was it in school when teachers TOLD you how to draw a tree? Most of us were expected to draw the brown trunk and the curly green circle on top of it. I, apparently a big rule breaker that day, also drew 100 red apples on the tree. Sorry! That’s not what we were instructed to do. Poor Cindy, also in my first grade class, made her treetop brown and they told her it was dead. She cried.

Great introduction into a world of self-expression, huh?
The Dragons thought so.

I was actually lucky enough to have parents who encouraged art making. Mom especially loved to make art and before I was old enough to be in school used to take me to the duck pond and the park to draw, paint, and color what I saw. It was so much fun to collect my crayons, paint tray, brushes and pad in my tote bag before our excursions.

I was free as the birds I painted with huge eyelashes. Until school started, that is. I became self-conscious about doing it “right,” rather than using art as a form of self-expression. I always drew arms coming out of my neck and couldn’t understand why it was anyone’s business to try to change my drawing. And when they took one of MY crayons and drew on MY art to “correct” it—that was the WORST! I’ve had to slough off years of Dragons who continued to breed in the art rooms I’ve been in.

Summer was the best! Art day camp with Miss Violet. Perfect name for an art teacher, right? Oh the smell of the waxy crayons and batik wax was intoxicating. It was likely toxic, too, but the sense memory is healing.

This week I invite you to think back to a positive art experience. Was it finger painting? Maybe you used paint or perhaps mustard and ketchup on your plate. Did you enjoy squishing clay? Using boldly colored markers or delicate colored pencils? Do you recall sharpening those wands of color? That was even magical. Could be that your muse appeared later in the shop room, with the smell of freshly cut wood permeating your nostrils.

Please share and post a comment about your early art memories.

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