I never knew this was even IN me. I never felt this way about art, and children before. Even though I always had the kids at my house for play, even when I was not the most present parent.
But now, now it’s different. Now, I am different. (Completely different from my unaware days). On top of that, since having my second, I made a decision, I felt was HUGE. It was HUGE to me, & it was a role I decided to take on & first thing I committed to besides motherhood (& a couple other things I’ll mention in another post) . It still is one of the only things I committed to whole heartedly & stuck to really …. after I had my second daughter.
Short story: Her father left when she was just about 2 years old. (There is a ‘happy ending’ but this is not at all what this post is about)… Her father is an incredible artist, I mean incredibly talented. I allowed him to ink my body in two different places, permentenly. He’d have to be a more than fantastic artist for me to allow that! I don’t even think he knows his fullest potential. Anyway.
After his untimely departure, I felt I was faced with a huge challenge. I pondered then, with all of my being: “HOW?! HOW? How could I make this child feel at peace with growing up without her father, BUT, still have sooo many pieces of him glaringly ALIVE IN HER… HOW??”
“What COULD I do to keep her LOVING even the parts of herself she might grow to be angry about?” I got it… ART! Art was thee one thing her fathers personality was pretty much built around. HE could do anything. Walk on his hands, mimic a song with playing the cords, on any guitar, after first listen of a song; and he could sing and draw anything. And do all those things very well!
WHAT could she be naturally good at & grow to love, in her father, instead of hate, even if from a distance: ART. The art part of her (and him, cuz she’s all part him...) could grow to be alive, thriving, flourishing, and growing inside her. See, for those that haven’t grown without one parent (especially female missing father) you must understand that we know we are still at least ‘50% our missing parent’. We blame ourselves, we don’t like parts of ourselves, usually until a certain age, because of their departure. No matter the circumstance. But, to get into this topic deeper, well that is for another post entirely…for now
So, that was my quest, & that was my answer; my decision: art it would be… Art would be the main focal point of EVERYTHING I Did surrounding this child’s growth & childhood & education.
Problem was I knew nothing about art, accept that everything inside me loved to paint & draw. Once upon a time even (before my children were born) I was a very very talented sketcher, in my own eyes… but this had to be different. So I sought out all forms of children’s art activities and that’s where our new art journey had begun. (I will share in many a future post who taught me most).
Now the tree. And why the tree in the post picture… this tree represents so much more to me …. this tree, this tree yesterday (last week by the time I finish editing this post 😏) , was painted lovingly, openly, with kids, with kind spirits, wrapped in paint dipped threads, decorated with dandelions in abundance, by the kids that we have collected through our outdoor art-ventures, in a neighbourhood I had no hope, no hope for. NO HOPE we’d find our way, no hope we would find our own friends, our own “space“–but most importantly our own “art-space“. Then it hit me, the tree struck me! This tree in its color, creative exterior & it’s artful nature inspired presence, represents a root we have now planted here.
Everything in me now loves Exploring art with kids. But where did it come from? Why? I LOVE exploring art with my own children! I LOVED exploring art with my youngest especially. As she grew though, she tired of the art activities … no matter how I masked them. No matter how I mashed up & mixed in baking, cooking, science, and math. I would set up long-winded or short, art-based activities outside on our OLD apartment front yard, side driveway, or back yard parking lot.
I believe this is when the shift began, now in hindsight…
See, all our neighbours backyards were aligned in a row, & ran parallel to our back parking lot. The other neighbourhood kids would peek over & try to see what we were up too. Or they’d shout over to us. During our activities, we would often screech in excitement (or argument). In drawing attention to ourselves we would end up with at least us plus 2 kids over, involved in whatever we were into at the time. Often, my daughter would be complianing, uninterested, & I would be alone in the activity while she just drew (always had a paper and pencil in hand, or would request one from me.) The point is, she, my own child, was becoming un-interested. Uninvolved. At times I was disappointed. At times I would carry on with the ‘art-ivity’, alone, hoping she would rejoin me eventually….
But, What happened was different than ever planned or thought of at all… this is the part I believe something in me kicked in, was growing, just turned on, or was just let out. Set free is exactly what I realize it feels like! I have not written about this before, so I’m rather excited to be sharing– I have not reflected on whatever this is and never asking myself before now:
“Was This There Inside Me, This Whole Time?” Was it dragged out of me by my second daughter? Was she the one that birthed this part of me? Was she in fact the Creator & I the Curator of whatever this new found excitement was? Was I supposed to be a creative kids art teacher or guider?
Back to the backyards, we ended up with kids from the street over at anytime we were outside & involved in our own art process. The others always wanting ‘in’ on our activities. I couldn’t ever say no!?! With their FEVOR, the Excitement in their eyes, & their absolute curiosity–how could I not be hooked on allowing them in?!?!
That’s the moment it happened. But I did not realize it until almost 3 years later, that I might want to do this. Like forever. As a profession. And I changed again. Something changed in me again, or was re-birthed. Recently, I have decided, I must get back to school to study art. Everything and anything I can at whatever school I can. I cannot right now, get physically to our local college campus to start the Art & Design focused schooling I want to. Instead, I have picked up on every online course I can! I will gain all the knowledge I can about how to run my own art studio, for kids. For now I will share our newly created kids art group activities, with the kids in our new neighbourhood and with you all here.
HUH…? Who knew? I certainly didn’t have a clue this was inside but, damn am I excited to feel like I know where I am going. Now, to manifest my dreams of teaching art, or art therapy to kids…
If you would have asked me ever in my life before the last 5 if I swanted to teach art or have an art studio for children; I would have said NEVER!
HERE IS what I am up to right now:
1- I am an active member of Creativebug.com. Creativebug is an online creative art teaching community, with about 1,000 classes available. These classes are taught by artists themselves, like Lisa Congdon: art illustrator, fine artist, & collector extrordinare.
My second teacher via Creativebug turned out to be a great creatively spiritual teacher, Flora Bowley.
2- Flora Bowleys Intuitive Painting Class on Creativebug opened my heart up to a new huge love I had all but forgotten, painting! Thankfully, I now have the opportunity to part take on her (book titled–!) online course called “Creative Revolution” (PSSST…get a Signed Copy of her book here!!) Flora’s 7-week ecourse is an incredibly exciting exploration of self, through art. I don’t know how to explain it. You must read or adventure it for yourself to really say what it is to you.
I will keep you updated during this course, week by week. If you’re looking for more than once in a while updates, please visit me on Instagram!
Share your creative experience below. A special online course you found? Looking for a new daily art challenge? Try Tammy G’s Index-card-a-day art challenge #ICAD2017 . I find it a perfect in between my other projects, that keeps me from getting stuck. Are you a Creative that is feeling exhausted and over spent, physically overwhelmed? Visit the website of Creative life coach (who is another amazing female, I’m telling you!!) Amy Kuretsky and find out How she Fuels Her Hustle here! Into creative listening? Podcasting for Creatives? Here’s a Great one! Via Danielle of the Jealous Curator. OH, And, Here’s Youngman, he’s Your Creative Push!
BE THE INSPIRATION,
Yours Truly, J9;)