I left my inner artist back in the junior high art room, but thanks-be-to-God, I’ve never lost my ability to draw a mean stick figure.
See? Utter brilliance, eh? 🙂
But one night this week, we were asking ourselves to stretch a bit more than stick-figuring.
A bunch of ladies who don’t know the difference between a goache and a grissaille.
We ladies are these: a professional cook, the head housekeeper of a nursing home, a pharmaceutical-sales delivery person, a special-ed teacher, a retired businesswoman, a bunch of grandmas, and a few farmers’ wives.
You could have heard the collective, intimidated sigh as we sat in front of those blank canvases, taunting us with all that daunting white space. Most of us hadn’t put a brush to a canvas for — what — 10 years? Some of us, for decades.
But this was us, gathering together under one roof, and agreeing stubbornly that we were made to create, because we were made by a Creator.
We came to get our art on. We came to let our inner Monets fly.
“There are no mistakes, only happy little accidents.” That’s what our night’s art teacher told us, quoting the legendary Bob Ross.
And so we set our determined little selves onto those canvases, emboldened only by our teacher’s confidence in us. Because, let’s face it: most of the rest of us felt we had all the artistic talent of a toenail.
But behold, art happened.
My friend, Trish, and I invited about a dozen women from the local community to create for the sake of creating — risk-free, fail-free, critic-free. And those crazy women showed up, right under the white steeple of our Iowa country church.
“Art is for everyone. … No one gets left out.” Those are the words of Matt Appling, in his newly released book, “Life After Art: What You Forgot About Life and Faith Since You Left the Art Room.“
Before we put color to canvas, I read a bit from Matt’s book, because we all needed a bit of reassurance from someone who actually knew what he was talking about:
“Picasso was right. Children are all born artists. Artists are not created. They are born. But most child artists have very short life spans. Art teachers work very hard to grow and nurture as many child artists as possible. But we watch most of them simply grow up and disappear. How many artists will be lost this year? Only a few will escape into adulthood with their creativity alive.”
~ Matt Appling
And then, we made some stuff. And our stuff was kinda good. Ish.
(You better agree with us, or we’ll summon that mean stick figure and ask him to come after you. 😉 And we’ll make him strong-arm you into attending our next Creative Night Out.)
You can find Matt’s book, Life After Art, by clicking here.
YOUR TURN: When’s the last time you felt creative? How are you living “life after art?”