Well, tomorrow is the big day.
I’m leaving for a weekend workshop in New Hampshire where I am going to attempt something I have never done before. I have never participated in any kind of “artsy” workshop. I took a one day class in calligraphy about 15 years ago, and that was it. Whassup with that, you ask? Plenty.
I had the misfortune of being one year younger than my sister who actually did have some artistic talent. I marched through junior high and high school art classes one year behind the “talented sister.” Every year I was greeted with the same thing: “Oh, are you Pat’s sister? Are you as talented as she is?” And every year the teacher(s) found out the answer was “NO,” not even close. It’s hard to shake that off. (If you are reading this, Pat – I don’t hold you responsible, but would it kill you to dust off that Bernina and get back to creating?)
At the tender age of 16 I spent a year in a walking body cast. Consequently I am terribly self conscious and building self-esteem was not a big part of my parent’s agenda. I got through life by staying under the radar and keeping the peace. Can you tell I am a middle child? Once, in a grade school 4H project, I had to cover a box with contact paper. I would have had an easier time constructing a cold fusion machine. My mother, completely exasperated, gave up on me and let me finish the damn thing myself. It looked horrible. To compound my shame, I got a white ribbon on it and it was displayed at the county fair for all to see. There is no shame like the shame of a 4H white ribbon. It kneecapped me.
So what is the workshop? We are going to paint on paper, cover, then embellish, a box. I kid you not. I can’t believe I am doing this. So what has changed? Not much, other than there is a little voice inside me now that says, “why the hell not?” I have mercifully matured to the age where I don’t really care what other people think. I really don’t need the affirmation of strangers. I may make a total mess of this project but it is something I want to try. I’m happy to have reached this point in my life. If I’d had this awareness in my 20′s I’d be running Apple by now.
Of course it helps that I’m taking this with a friend who, like myself, shoots from the hip and appreciates strong adult beverages. We’re staying at her sister’s house so it should be a remarkably comfortable and relaxing get-away. What’s not to love? I will even promise to post a picture of the result, even if it does belong in my “white ribbon” gallery. Life is short. Let’s all get out of our comfort zone and see what happens.