Wednesday, September 22, 2010

About an Artist

I've been on the lookout for some fabric lately. Nothing fancy and nothing Michael's. It's for a little something I'm designing in my mind on which to store Abby's barrettes. Anything will be an improvement compared to where I've been keeping them: dark menacing crevices of purses, couches, and carseats mostly. There is the occasional clump of them found in the dryer. Great for antiquing. These little buggers multiply like rabbits once they hit the floor so it's time to corral them properly.

Underneath my desire to make something for my daughter is a severe handicap. I can't actually sew. I also can't actually cut in a straight line either. It's that bad. But I'm not a person who lies down in the face of defeat so forging ahead in the quest to create simple objects from felt and hot glue is my only real choice. Plus, I found this idea on another mom's blog and she claimed to prettymuchsuckat making stuff too. Figured it can morph into a shooting target for Grayson should something terrible go awry with the fabric scissors. Wait, I don't think I own fabric scissors.

So in our quest to find the coveted perfectly soft yet substantial however not itchy fabric for Abby's barrette hanger clustereff, we went to my favorite second hand store. We shopped and shopped. Abby kleptoed several purple princess wands and kissed a ceramic owl square on the beak (what is with the owls, people?). I picked up and put down the same flowered pattern fabric priced at $12.00 at least seven times. The flowers were water-colored Gerbera daisies (I know - to die!) with a periwinkle background that would make you swoon. I swooned. Then I broke up with it because there was tons of this shit. It would live, collect silverfish and dust bunnies, then die a folded eternal death in my closet because I was afraid to ever begin. Baby steps for we NonMartha's y'all.

Just as I had walked away from the tempting pretty flowers a lady with a lovely British lilt asked if I was an artist.

"Pardon me?" I asked back in Madonna's voice for some reason.
"Are you an artist?" she asked without a hint of mock.

And I looked at myself, my little girl, and my jumble of plastic Halloween buckets, feathered mask, princess cape, harvest tins and confessed, "No. I'm not an artist. I am actually the farthest thing from an artist. The only thing I've ever made worth a hell is a piggy bank shaped like a tiger that weighs more than my daughter. I wish I could make things. I'd love to make things. But thank you for asking."

"Oh, it's just that you have feathers in your heap and I'd never even think to buy feathers."

The feathered thing in my heap she was referring to was a Mardi-Gras masque I picked out for myself to wear for Trick or Treating with the kids this year. You know, the cop out costume. I hadn't picked it out based on what else I could've done with it. I had selected it for it's basic literal function. Very practical like. Very pragmatic like. Embarrassingly one dimensional. No artist resideth here, me queen.

Fast forward to picking up Grayson from preschool an hour later. His teachers were absolutely beaming at him. He was hiding behind one pretending to be something (dinosaur? teetsie fly? wombat? who knows.) I was terribly confused because this was a grand departure from the weepy teardrop of boy I left there four hours prior.

"He did a fabulous job today in art class," his teacher sang. "He engaged entirely, painted a lot -even more than the others (she whispered) -and helped out the art teacher the whole time. He used lots of cool materials and came up with a beautiful design. Here, I'll show you."

An audible jaw drop was all I could come up with in response.

"He was honestly amazing today. He really loves art class."

Huh. Go figure. Looks like there may be an artist in my heap after all.

3 comments:

Cristie Ritz King, M. Ed said...

"I answered in my Madonna voice."
THIS is why I adore you.
Also,I remember many a scarf draped lamp in my dorm room and I clearly was not responsible for those artistic touches Songstress. Artists come in all shapes and they're not necessarily covered in feathers.
In short: He gets it from his momma.

JRitz said...

You may not be able to sew or cut in a straight line but you are indeed an artist. The writing alone qualifies you as one. Then add on the photography and from what I've been told, the singing, and you got an artist.

One Sided Momma said...

crk - did they not have 3-way lamps back then? what was my deal, anyway? :) and thank you for your props, i'm afraid he has a tortured artist's soul (like his mama) but let's hope he carries his to potential!

jritz - you and your sisters make me feel like i'm not the almost girl. for that, i am eternally thankful and a little bit wanting to kick ass to prove you all right :)