Before I discovered scrapbooking, I tried a number of other crafty hobbies and none of them stuck. I dabbled in cross stitch, watercolors, acrylics, sewing, clay, and I'm sure there were more. My dropping these hobbies boiled down to two reasons: I have terrible manual dexterity and I can't draw. I have studied books about perspective and drawing, yet I can't produce anything beyond a passable stick figure. Scrapbooking satisfies my desire to create something beautiful, and it can apparently be done without any true artistic talent. Still, I have always wished that I could draw or paint.
During a lovely vacation Ron and I took before we adopted the kids, I took a watercolor class. The instructor told us that one of the best things about watercolor is that you can use vague shapes to represent the object you're painting, and it doesn't have to be precise to be beautiful. We were making notecards, and I painted an iris on mine. Or rather, the vague shape of an iris, my favorite flower. The instructor came around and said to me, "Nice pansy." I replied, "It's an iris." And she replied, "No, it's not." Not much encouragement there to continue.
Recently I have discovered some new (to me) artists like Kal Barteski and Claudine Hellmuth and Diane Duda and others, including Donna Downey, whose slogan is the title of my post. They have inspired me to try again to create something just for the heck of it, just to be creating. Just like with scrapbooking, the products are a big part of it for me, and it's a huge bonus to be actually breaking them out of their boxes and using them.
So a while back I played around and made this:
And it didn't come out exactly as I'd imagined but it was fun and freeing and I didn't throw it away. And so I made this one, which was a little less outside my box, and I really like it.
And a few weeks back I started an actual little collage painting, but I got frustrated when it wasn't looking like I wanted (I got totally stuck on the eyes). I made myself sit down and finish it today, and while I won't be giving up my day job any time soon, I kind of like it. It's a gift for a friend, and it's really really scary for me to give it to her. What if she laughs at it? But I'm going to do it, because I know this friend will treasure it (or at least graciously act as if she does) because I made it for her.
(And no, that's not the secret project, and no, MB, it's not your birthday present. :D Those are still to come.)