January 17, 2016 by readlisaread
I often think the Victorians had a good idea– Young Ladies were expected to be accomplished, to be able to draw, play music, create art in the form of water colour, drawings, needlework.
Of course, those were the young ladies of means, Jane Austin’s Bennets and Dashwoods, not the greater percentage of girls who worked in service for them, whose skills with needle and brush were far more utilitarian–mending clothes and blacking fire grates. But supposing for a moment one enjoyed a place in the upper 10% of society, where the expectations for advanced education and career goals were far surpassed by the ability to entertain, to land a good husband and to speak intelligently, but without opinion.
So, the last bit might not work for me, but the first bit is appealing. I think of the people I have known who can pick up a guitar or sit at the keyboard and spark a singalong. The recent resurgence of hand crafted goods. Knit and crocheted items as coveted specialty items.
Which brings me to art (and craft) of all sorts. I have given gifts of cross stitch and knitting in the past, as well as baking and preserves (food is an art of a different sort). Following a pattern or a recipe successfully and gifting the result is safe. Easy, even, and the chance the recipient doesn’t like the gift can be the fault of the originator of the pattern/recipe/instructions.
But what does it mean to create from your own soul or heart (or wherever the seat of your creative function) and then to give it away? Artists who sell their wares are at an advantage, obviously, but the amateur is in scary waters indeed.
I started doing acrylic painting, mostly in the free-form, Passionate Intuitive style, a short time ago. Soon, my available wall space was filled. Performing a song, or cooking a meal are transitory gifts, that can be remembered for their intent if not their merit. But a gift of mass and heft and intended to take up realestate on the wall, that is a different beast. And not easily returned or regifted.
I’ve decided to take his advice to heart, though, and if my passion is not something they can appreciate, that cannot be my fault.