Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Just when did we stop being artists?...

Or, when did we start judging what we create and reject it as not good enough?...

Remember, when you were a child and you sat in front of a piece of white paper - you would TRY everything - crayons, paints, nail polish, smudging with fingers, stamping with a carved potato, gluing scraps on, stenciling, blue horses and green piglets, anything was possible and perfectly used in your art piece.
And it was good.
And I'm not talking about the mama's and auntie's comments of how great your art was - because they said it not because they liked what you did but because that's what you say to a small child. And it's fine, encouragement is a great thing!

But I'm talking about the COURAGE to TRY anything and NOT BEING SCARED of every line or colour. And NOT COMPARING our works with the works of others. The moment we learned to compare, we lost the ability to create. We started to think our art's not good enough.

I have to RE-LEARN those skills once more, because I lost them, too. I was drawing quite a lot when I was a teenager, and every time I was drawing, I heard my parents say: "She's playing." opposite to "She's learning." Playing was wrong, childish, silly, learning was good, goal-oriented, proactive (oh, how I hate that word!...).
I never drawn realistic figures or landscapes because I didn't know how. I never attended any art school or course. Perspective was one big mystery to me (it still is up till now, but I'm not bothered anymore!.. *^v^*). I was just taking a pencil in my hand and sketching something, adding new elements, smudging the shades with my fingers. But the more I compared my art with others' the more I didn't like it, and gradually I drawn less and less, and then I stopped drawing.
Now, my revelation moment --> Because I felt I wasn't good enough in CREATING, I took up RE-CREATING, I mean, the cross-stitching and sewing. When you do the cross-stitching or sew something from the Burda pattern, you don't really make something from scratch - I mean from the very scratch, you repeat the given pattern - yes, you may use different colours or fabrics/buttons, but the result will be very similar to the original.

When I started my art journal and saw many art journals of yours, I realized I CAN create art. Even if it's only in my journal, just for me to flip through the pages in a year or two (or 10! ^^), and see what was happening in my life then.
And I noticed that the more I paint/write in my journal,, the more ideas come to me day by day. They may not be the "Mona Lisa" ideas or "Guernica" ideas, but they fill the pages of my journal as I go through another day. ^^
I may even share with you some of my teenager drawings, I just have to scan them once more (I somehow lost the previous scans)... ^^

Now, off to my journal pages:
First of all, I made some new artistic aids - I bought a bunch of the cheapest rubbers and cut them out into stamps: numbers and some basic shapes! *^v^*
(I also bought the date stamp but for this one I'll have to wait a bit till it comes by post).

Beginning of this post in my journal. *^v^*

I would soooo like to live according to those wise words, so I put them into my journal so I could go back to this page and remind myself about this TRUTH! ^^
The lady is glued here, but I added her some wings so she could fly when no one's watching her at the moment. *^v^*

I saw this view from my bedroom window, on Saturday morning when Robert got up and removed the curtains - the curtain of leafy green and gold! ^^

You cannot see it properly but it has "math" written all over with a grey metallic gel pen. I've always loved math, I wonder why I never followed its path...

This is my response for the prompt from d'Blogala, "what I want to be when I grow up".

Here is the story of my life: "All my life I lived on the 8th floor, I could have my windows wide open and even without the curtains if I wanted. Now I live on the ground floor, trees block the light in my bedroom and people keep staring into my living room. I need air..." It's all true...

And here was my working space from yesterday - at that moment it was on my bed. Can you see my new plastic container for the paints? I must keep the stuff organized, definitely in containers, in other case things start crawling around the flat and it's getting really messy. ^^
Also, on the lid of the box, just above my journal, there are my brand new rubber stamps - I'm very happy with how they work! I tried to make a stamp out of a wine cork but it just crumbled in my hand. And here, the cheapest possible rubbers and what a result! *^v^*

Learning Norwegian makes me very frustrated...
Because I forgot how it is to LEARN a new language. I forgot the painful beginnings, when you know what to say but don't know how to say it in a new language... When I read the English texts I understand 100% or 90 %, when I read Norwegian blogs, I catch single words - "I", "have", "no", "eat", but the rest is still unclear to me. I know it's always like that at the beginning, it's normal, it's called "learning". But it makes me angry and gives me the kick to learn more.
I really must start memorizing the dictionary, or something... *^v^*

One more thing - thank you guys for your kind offers to buy me Patons knitting book, but I thought things through and I've come to some conclusions: I really really cannot buy any pattern book I spot on the Internet, because:
1. I planned to buy Rowan 41&42 and recent IK, so I must save money on these first,
2. it's not a good idea to buy many patterns and then let them stay untouched for eternity, because I have only 2 hands and 24 hours per day.

I did some cleaning with knitting projects today - I finished the Zebra socks (photos soon) and frogged the Ukrainian Socks from "Folk Socks" (wrong gauge, I may come back to them one day).
I also tried to knit a bit of the Mystery Stole III, but something happened and I was one stitch short in a row I was knitting. I just added one stitch but then I was again one stitch short in the next row. What the heck?... I'm doing something wrong, and I haven't figured out what it was. Phew...
Looks like it's high time for another cardigan! *^v^* (next week - yarn shopping! ^^).


  1. Stakkars deg - norsk er ikke enkelt!

    If you want to watch Norwegian TV online you can do it for free here:

  2. So true about more than just art-when we were young we are so free and so willing to try new things not caring at all. i miss that-i have gotten better with my son but not much.
    Your art journal pags are amazing! I really love your stuff-you are such an inspiration!

  3. I can really relate to what you're writing here. Your post brought back my potato stamping days, I remember how I loved doing that. It's a pity that we can't hold on to more of how a small child relate to it all :-)

  4. Forgot to say I think the Drops jacket is great :-)

  5. It is very liberating and very important to unlearn what we have been told about art. Art, I mean.

    Raising kids has helped me examine my relationship to art and to being an artist. The children look to me for approval, "Is this piece good?" But I don't want to say it is good or bad. I want to find things to talk about in it!
    My daughter has recently started playing percussion instruments, and we went to an open mike where she did a full improvisational set, her first time playing!
    My judgement told me it wasn't good, she didn't know what she was doing, but when I could suspend that judgement, I was able to hear sponataneous, brilliant moments in her music.

    Love your blog, even though I don't comment often.

  6. Was blog hopping and landed here. Enjoyed my visit.

    I thoroughly understand what you are saying about ART, and I'm guilty of it myself. Guilty of it to the point that I'm now afraid to make art, DO ART, and have been since I was a teenager. Through Art Journals (thank you to Suzi Blu and thoughtful folks like you), I'm rediscovering what it's like to make Art without fear. I still look at every spread and wonder if it's good enough, but little by little, I'm letting go of that. It's a process.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful blog post.