Sunday, December 2, 2012

Do It Myself or Let Others Do the Art?

Yesterday was the kind of day that felt sent to me to help me test my resolve to be flexible and adaptable.  I thought the day would go one way, but it didn't.  I adjusted to the new way, and boom, another change or two.  But happily, I was able to just shift gears and keep going.  It helped that all the activities were pleasant.

It actually began on Friday night, when I made an Advent wreath.  We had planned to make a wreath for a Sunday service, but not to make ones for our homes.  But someone suggested it, and I went through my usual thoughts:  I don't need one; I can't do this; I didn't plan on this.  But I did it, and it was fun!  For more on that process, see this post.

On Saturday, I thought, well, if I'm going to do more decorating for Christmas, I should do it today.   I experimented with lights, which looked horrible bunched on the mantel but good draped over the china cabinet and sideboard.  I put some of my grandmother's handmade ornaments on the mantel. 

Last night was my spouse's concert with the Broward Chorale, which involved a rehearsal and carpooling and uncertainty about the afternoon.   But it worked out.

While he was at the afternoon rehearsal, I went to an artist friend's Open House.  I drank some wine, enjoyed some cheese and fruit, and looked at her jewelry and scarves for sale.

She's been experimenting with fiber and making the kind of scarves that I made a year ago (see this post).  While I didn't particularly like wearing my creation, she's come up with some stunning work.  Part of it has to do with the more interesting variety of fibers that she has.

So, I bought one, along with an interesting necklace in a lariat style, which is unlike anything I have.  I liked supporting a fellow artist and a work colleague who has found herself moved from full-time to part-time through no fault of her own.  And I like her work.

My husband said of the scarf, "You could have made that."  Yes, I could have, if I had spent as much on individual yarns as I spent on the scarf.  I'm a valuable customer, in that I know how much those interesting yarns cost.  Others are valuable customers because they have no hesitance in forking over money for a scarf.  But in a store, I'm likely to say, "Fabric doesn't cost this much.  Forget it.  I'm not paying for this."

It was a lovely afternoon.  She had the Open House on her deck, in her tropical back yard, with our wonderful South Florida winter weather--just cool enough to sit outside without breaking into a sweat.

And then it was off to pick up my spouse, grab a quick dinner, and go out for a concert.

I know I'm biased, but the Broward Chorale was fabulous.  They sang complicated music, along with festive favorites.  For more on the concert, see this post

As we drove home, we talked about how remarkable it is that anyone could show up, and as long as they agreed to attend all the rehearsals, they'd be included.  And the director took that variety of talent and turned it into a cohesive whole.

We talked about other art, and how few of the arts welcome everyone, the way that singing does.  I can try out for a play, but I don't get to act on the stage just because I want to do it, even on the amateur level.  I can write or paint to my heart's content, but showing my work in a gallery or a literary journal isn't up to my just showing up.

My jewelry artist friend often goes to shows, but she still has to submit to juries.  Even the unjuried shows require an entry fee.

But the Broward Chorale simply requires showing up with a desire week after week.  And the singers improved into something that sounded polished and professional.

I suspect the same would be true of any art form we attempted.  The key to success is not the talent we already possess.  The key to success is the showing up on a regular basis to do the work.


HLMeeks said...

That is why I sing with the chior with my church. Everyone is welcome and I like to be part of such beautiful sounds. Actually I'm the singer for our local girl Scouts. It's a running joke that I have a song or three for every meeting. Odd, cause I"m NOT a great singer,just willing to share.

Anonymous said...

I love you!