An Artful Chain of Gratitude

It started on September 15. We were celebrating Michael’s birthday, and we found ourselves walking up and down Tennyson Street a few times. It was the first time we noticed a new art supply store, Super Good Art Stuff. I’m pretty sure I even pressed my nose to the window of the closed shop, and I felt grateful to have such a perfect store, less than a mile from our house.

My enthusiastic nose pressing led Michael to choose my birthday presents, new art supplies and short workshop sessions at both the Art Students League of Denver and Lighthouse Writers. I’d been flirting with and studiously avoiding writing and painting (for years), but enrolling in classes was a concrete step that I needed to move forward. Before each class, I’d hold my breath before crossing the threshold – would I belong? I’m grateful to write that once I stepped inside, I did belong. I do belong. It felt like I was returning home, plain and simple.

In October I ran into a friend and when she asked what was new, I started going on about ASLD and Lighthouse. She reminded me that both organizations are part of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. It’s an organization that deserves gratitude – SCFD makes it possible for thousands of children and adults throughout the Denver metro area to visit hundreds of cultural institutions and events. I’m looking forward to learning more about the organization, since it could be a great place to combine my love of the arts and education, in a way that helps the greater community.

Now it’s November, and I’m grateful that I’m moving forward, creating more time and space for creativity in my life. It’s far from perfect: I’m in the process of writing a book review which has triggered a major case of writer’s block; Bella decided to help me with my painting by drawing all over the bottom of my current piece; I’m still wrestling with my ongoing questions – making stuff is great, but what’s the greater vision? How do I achieve balance between process and product? Can I be satisfied with art as my evening hobby, rather than as a career? 

I suppose I’m taking it all too seriously, a hard habit to break; luckily Bella just hopped into the room in her pink bunny slippers. Here, now, I’m grateful.

4 thoughts on “An Artful Chain of Gratitude

  1. “How do I achieve balance between process and product?” I LOVE this question…let’s talk and walk about it sometime soon!

  2. I think those questions plague most art makers again and again. You just need to keep on working and playing in short manageable segments and trust that the greater goal will be achieved. The journey is at least as meaningful and valuable as the destination.
    I’m enjoying Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird as she encourages her fiction writing students and the reader to have the patience, courage, persistence and humor to stay with it.
    You inspired me to place an order for art supplies this afternoon. I got past the obstacles of not really needing some of them and “will I use them?” and just went for it. Yay! Art Supplies!
    I wish I had a little bunny jumping around and messing up my paintings…..Oh, I once did have three of them! How fortunate we are. And grateful too.

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