Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Today, I have to thank Marah Johnson for including me in her blog, and providing a link to my blog. If you're here for the first time, welcome! I'm nuts about mixed media, and hope you share my passion, and/or can appreciate my passion for art. If you're a "frequent flyer," thank you for sticking with me (I realize there are few of you and thus appreciate you even more so)!
I created this blog more for me, than anyone else, as I realize I don't have many followers, and thus wanted a place for me to keep track of the growth in my artful endeavors, and growth of self.
Today, I ask myself, "where do we find our 'mojo'" to keep on keeping on, with our life in general, and our artful creations? I'm sure the answer is an eclectic mix for each of us, and perhaps something many of us have yet to determine. For me, my mojo comes from many sources ~~ publications, conversations, friendships, fellow artists, criticism, life experiences, deep feelings, passions, thoughts, etc. However, while attending Creative Escape 2009 (www.creativeescapeaz.com), I had the distinct pleasure of learning from Marah Johnson . . . learning about some really cool art techniques (mainly, using Glimmer Mist and cardboard and other found "junk" within art . . . and I'm sure I could have learned much more about artful creativity from Marah, had there not been an important life lesson for me to learn within her class). However, as it turned out, I was in her class to learn a life lesson that had been years in the making. I was fortunate enough to be in the one class at CE '09 where Marah shared a snippet of her life story. It's amazing how our brains lock in on certain things, and ignore the rest, and I'm sure my brain did just that during Marah's sharing. However, what I took from her sharing was that Marah had a very diffcult childhood, in my humble opinion, but that she did not concentrate on the difficulties, but rather she concentrated on making art, and this concentrated focus on art kept her moving forward, concentrating on the positive, and thus making something of herself ~~ what an AMAZING story! ART SAVES!!!! My immediate thought (as I rushed to complete my Glimmer Misting, gluing, and otherwise attempting to be artistic, lol) was "hey, if Marah ~~ whom I had just met moments earlier, has obviously become someone, becausing I am sitting here paying to attend this awesome workshop ~~ if she can use art to turn her life toward the positive and focus on the bright side of things, then surely I can also! (Note: I had just begun paper-crafting 3 months prior to taking this class, and had no idea whom Marah was!) I CAN be somebody, I can do something positive in this ole world, I can be a positive contributor to this world INSPITE of my life struggles and backward turns!
What an AWESOME lesson I received in that moment. I returned home with a new focus on the positive side of my life, choosing to push aside the negatives, and use what little talent I have to make something of myself, and in turn, hopefully, make something that others can appreciate too.
Admittedly, I still "get in a funk" and find sadness surfacing from the past from time to time. In fact, during the closing ceremony of CE '09 I found myself so emotionally ingulfed and in tears, in thinking of family during Heidi Swapp's sharing, that I had to leave the ceremony in order to "move on." But I now have a grounding force to help me move on; I remind myself of Marah's story, and can make myself move forward, knowing that I CAN lift myself up and DO something positive. I may never be "the best," or even close to it, but I CAN be SOMEBODY. I do not have to be Rembrandt to be happy with myself today; I can be happy with myself just being me ~~ a crazy nut, with a screwed up background, who chooses to make some art that she appreciates and likes in hopes that others can appreciate her, and her art, in the process. If others do not appreicate me and my art, that's okay too ~~ the first step is MY appreciation of self and my art!
What a great life lesson I learned, all because I was in one particular class of Marah Johnson (www.marah_johnson.typepad.com) in which she had a moment to share a snippet of her life! A coincidence, or a miracle from above ~~ whatever you call it, it was awesome. So, in short, we just never know what affect the smallest of things will have on others.
To remind myself of this lesson, and to take from what I learned creatively from Marah, I try to incorporate "found junk" and cardboard in many of my artful pieces. I have yet to fill the "box of books" I made in Marah's class, but it will always hold a special place in my collection of things I've made~~ filled or not. Perhaps, the first thing that should go into the books within this piece is this posting!
Posted by Jeanne Nelson at 2/24/2010 10:19:00 AM