Monday, March 12, 2012

Artists, children and retirees

quilts jan 2011 003 What do they have in common? 

I was reading a book by Penelope Lively (an author new to me, whose writing I love and (hooray) she’s written loads of books! also,  judging by her photo on the dust jacket,  she looks good for a few more!  Eniow, I was reading a book called Spiderweb about a retired anthropologist, in which the main character muses that there are significant similarities between children and retirees in that they do (or should do!) live for what each day can bring.  It struck me that the same holds true for artists. Little children do this naturally, of course, there is no yesterday  that one is regretting and rethinking, no tomorrow that has to be planned for or worried about.  It is just today.  cvt I like to splash

3 hikers clowning

As a (semi!) retiree I have to keep reminding my self to enjoy each day, each minute for what it brings instead of always “looking forward”.  What are the joys of winter, of spring of summer and of fall?  What is the joy of this particular hour on this particular day in March 2012?  What is special about this moment that I  should especially savor (instead of just gulping down looking ahead to the next thing) now that I’m out of the hurly burly of deadlines and schedules and calendars and into my own clear (alas,  though, too easily muddied!) space.

And that leads me to art – as an artist wishing to communicate an appreciation of beauty (or other emotions) I have to be aware of what I’m experiencing.  The work needs to be fresh and personal; if I just rush into it going through the motions – oh I must get this finished for the next challenge, or the next show etc – then it’s likely I’ll be unable to add the savoring of experience and the simmering of thought that makes it Real (rather than copied, trite and stale) Art. 

  Stopping and smelling the roses (or at present, the daffodils!) takes surprising concentration, we have been so conditioned to rush rush rush.  Instead I must think about it, make myself stop and do it.  It’s necessary for the successful life as an artist or an old lady or both! so please, don’t just rush through your day, breathe, experience, savor and think!Dafodils farndale And, if you have been, thanks for reading!   Elizabeth

PS and by the way, some kind (and, I hope, discerning!) soul has nominated me for a “best teacher” award, so if you’d like to vote…there are, in fact 27 nominees!  also several other “best” somethings…go to this url:

http://www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com/2012/03/vote-for-your-favorite-nominees-for.html

and your comments are always welcomed and considered!  thank you.

9 comments:

Gerrie said...

As a retiree and an artist, this post meant a lot to me. It is my mantra this year — enjoy the moment and the day and be where you are.

crazy patcher said...

I'm loving reading through your posts. What an exciting find! Thanks for this blog - wishing you lots of strength and happiness.

Dianne Robinson said...

Just looking at the beautiful photo of the daffodils is enough to stop me in my tracks to take a deep breath and stop worrying about all the things yet to be done. And they are just about all creations of my own doing!

Jackie said...

There must be LIFE to create! Life is enriched substantially by JOY. Even thoughtful quilts need care to grow into whatever we are trying to create. Thank you for yet another thoughtful post!

Lisa Broberg Quintana said...

I am sort of embarrassed to say this, but I've nominated you for a Liebster Award. You may have run into them, but they are for blogs with less than 200 followers which you admire...

You can see what I wrote on my blog...Thanks. Lisa Q.

Beth said...

Funny you should write about this. It was one of the first posts I wrote when I started my blog back when... Now that I am old, I can be a kid again with all the enthusiasm and boundless possibilities each day bring. Yipee!

Elizabeth Barton said...

yes its important to remember the good things about being old! so often the physical limitations seem to be to the forefront, and the habit of rush rush rush is a hard one to quit!

Cornelia said...

Thank you very much, Elizabeth
I am so with you about this topic - although I am "only" 49. Shouldn't hurt to start early to live one day at a time...
Best wishes from Switzerland
Connie

Dee said...

you are right to remind your readers that rushing through our work doesn't serve anyone! Thank you. Thanks for sharing your Denver workshop too - looks like it was a good time.