About Me ColorJoy Home Page Free Stuff About Me Contact Me
ColorJoy Home Page
ColorJoy Home The ColorJoy Blog Buy Patterns, Recipe Books, CDs Patterns Schedule & Potential Classes Recipes & Food Information The LynnH SockTour LynnH Polymer Clay The Fabulous Heftones - Lynn & Brian

Archive for November 29th, 2006

My Fourth Blogiversary

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I don’t know who made up the word “blogiversary” but it stuck in my head when I read it once or twice. I realized very late in the day that my birthday is also my blogiversary. I’ve been blogging since November 28, 2002. Four years!

My system tells me that this is blog entry number 1729. I never really thought of myself as a writer much. I’ve always been one of many words, for sure, and many opinions. Sometimes I have more opinions than are really my share and occasionally that embarrasses me… but because of those opinions I’ve always wanted to write a column. Without a degree or job history in writing or journalism, it was not going to happen easily if at all… so a blog was an incredible opportunity. I could hire *myself* to write a column! Imagine that!

I realize that some others don’t think of a blog as a column. For me that expresses my approach. Perhaps that is why I write about so many topics. I have this opinion that many things in life can be classified as art… dance, cooking, gardening, even raising a child is perhaps the most difficult creative act anyone can execute.

I have so many people approach me as an artist with words to the effect that “I’m not creative, but you are.” (This can imply somehow that I’m superior in some way, which puts a barrier between me and the speaker and makes it hard for us to be real with one another.) Nonsense.

It took me until I was in my mid-thirties to realize that I was an artist. I bought into the idea that drawing and painting defined who was an artist. I do not draw or paint… at least not realistic “objective” artwork. I do decorative painting, for sure. But since I don’t feel comfortable making traditional art renderings on two-dimensional surfaces, I thought that meant I was not an artist. I had a long, confused, emotional process of discovering that I had not given myself credit for a long time.

I dance, I sing, I write (poetry mostly when I’m unhappy, this column since my life turned around), I adventure with food and I appreciate others’ gardens. I am relatively good at photographing, at least at snapshots. I use the computer to create artwork, in fact PhotoShop has helped me do several artpieces that I could not have created if I needed to draw instead of use a computer.

I enjoy costuming myself, be it for stage or every day. Yes, choosing clothing for the day can be an artform! Surely you know someone for whom self-costuming is a primary creative activity.

I love to embellish found objects. This can mean embroidery and beads on a purchased beret, or it can mean fabric paint on a cellphone or nail polish on a palm device. I always loved to work with textiles, mostly sewing until my divorce (my previous life before I met Brian) in about 1990-91 at the age of 32.

After that lifechanging event I started working with polymer clay and I still did not consider myself an artist. Eventually I called myself an artist of the “one song canary” type, where I used “only one artform.” Nonsense, I was sewing at the same time, and doing decorative painting in my home. But I did not see these “domestic” activities as art.

I guess you could say that “creative endeavors” and “art” are not exactly the same, but for my purposes at least for this column I don’t separate them. I think that when people say they are not creative, that I am, they do themselves a huge dis-favor. They are not honoring the artful things they do accomplish.

Nearly everyone is creative in some way. Just because I did not work in two dimensions, just because my artful output was not frameable for hanging on a wall, just because I was mostly working in three dimensions, and mostly within a “domestic” framework, I discounted my artfulness. I did not allow myself to see the artist that I was, that I’d been since childhood.

So ColorJoy! “Art as an everyday attitude” became my blog’s name/subtitle. I encourage you to allow the thought that your dinner that you made might be considered artful, to realize that planting flowers or choosing what clothes to wear, all might be artful activities. Consider that you might just be an artist yourself, if you don’t limit your mind to what might or might not be in the rigid category of “art.”

I’m very fortunate that at this point in my life I make a living as an artful person. I write, I design, I teach (also a creative activity), I sing, I dance, I dye yarn and garments. I make polymer clay buttons and kazoos. I do unusual one-time artpieces such as the knitted self portrait.

I occasionally do “soft block printmaking” which is also sometimes called “eraser carving” and is related to something called “mail art.”

But even when I was teaching full time as a computer software trainer, I found it extremely important to save time out for one creative act per day. Sometimes it was rubberstamping images on the envelope as I paid my bills, but I made sure to do something each day.

My life has come a long way, I can not even express how different I was fifteen years ago. I barely recognize my former inner self, and it’s a good change. And now I have this blog, and you friends out there. I’m very grateful.

Photos: 1) A Hershberger Art Kazoo tm, polymer clay on metal; 2) Embellished palm device, 3) Digital collage from 3 photos I took, 4) Me as Eudora, my dance persona, dancing at New Aladdin’s restaurant, 5) Soft block print of my friend Elizabeth’s cabin in Vermont (the image originated as a photo which I then scanned into Photoshop, transferred to a soft block, carved and printed). Of all these artforms, only the print fits my previous/traditional sense of what artists might do… now I see them all as different facets of the same gem, so to speak.