Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Ghosts of Creativity Past

Yesterday a student stopped at the door of my office with an awestruck look on his face.  He said, "Where'd those paintings come from?"

So many ways to answer that question.  I took the simple way.  I said, "I brought them from home."

He said, "You drew them?"

I said, "There's no drawing underneath.  I just started with paint."

He nodded his approval.  We talked a bit about the other pieces on the wall.

I moved into a new office in December.  It has more blank wall space than any office I've ever had (read no windows).  Unlike with other offices I've had, I've put more of my own art on the walls.

There's fabric art and then, 6 weeks ago, I brought in some paintings.  Here's a close-up of my favorite:

In some ways, I feel a bit of a fraud.  I no longer paint like I once did.  I don't do much in the way of fabric art--just a baby quilt here and there.

But I find it soothing to be surrounded by my art.  Yesterday I looked up from my morning of endless spreadsheets to think about the ways the colors of the paint merged and separated.  More than once I've looked at my neat stitches and felt calmer.

I like to be reminded that I am more than the sum of my spreadsheets.  How did I become a woman of many spreadsheets?  I want to enter lines of poetry into cells, not the name of this textbook and that class and this classroom.

And they are often variations of former spreadsheets.  Rare are the people who say, "If nothing's changed, no need to turn in a spreadsheet."  No, we enter the same information over and over again.  It's hard to see it as an art form.

If I worked in more interactive art forms, perhaps I would do more with the spreadsheet idea--but that's not me.  No, I will keep entering boring data into spreadsheet cells.  And I will keep dreaming of the art forms that haunt me, the ghosts of creativity past, the whispers of creativity yet to come.


Lucille in CT said...

I love this/I can say this too: "I like to be reminded that I am more than the sum of my spreadsheets. How did I become a woman of many spreadsheets?"


Kristin said...

Lucille, we are more of the sum of our spreadsheets, of our shredded sheets, of so many sheets!