Monday, May 9, 2011

Stumbling Upon It in Unexpected Places

When I tell people I've just met that I am an art teacher, their first question is usually "so, do you, like, make art?" My response is usually "I try to..." which I really really really hate. Sometimes it's a simple "yes", sometimes it's "well, my teaching has become my art" which is totally has, but unless you work in this field that sounds like me saying apples are made from popcorn. The truth is, art is everywhere. As an artist, we are hyper-aware of how art encompasses our lives. Every day means countless design considerations, whether these are applied to what we recognize as "art" or just life. Like I tell my kids the day I introduce the unit on color theory: Color is everywhere. Whether you care about that or not, it is a fact of life, and it is important.

So, yes, I make art. I paint. I take pictures everywhere I go, even if that means just snapping them on my phone and fiddling around with photoshop. I've got a mental log a mile long of ideas I'd like to explore when and if I can only get myself going. Though I do so far less often than I would like, I am currently making a concerted effort to work on the art aspect of my career, now that I've got my foot solidly in the door of the education realm of art education. I'm hoping to enter shows and find venues for my art to be seen, if only as a potential catalyst to lead me toward making more art. To quote Austin Kleon from How to Steal Like an Artist and Other Things Nobody Told Me (if you haven't checked out his blog yet, do it now. I mean after you're done reading this one) "Do good work and put it where people can see it." Simple advice but oh so true. But even when time and space and motivation are lacking to do this official "work" that I can show to people, I am constantly finding ways to create art in my everyday life. This is a sampling of what I've been up to over the past week:

The art major in me recognizes this as an analogous color scheme. The recipients, I hope, recognize it at least as a thoughtfully made invitation to honor a dear friend.

I've been dying to have a reason to create these roses for so long. I've been dreaming up how I will use them to transform a space for the upcoming shower, but at least this weekend I finally got around to making some of them. I won't even get into how much I enjoyed looking at all the colors and patterns in the fabric store. So tough to get out of there with just these three!

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