Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hug Your Local Artist

I’ve had three lovely things happen to me lately that have served to keep me going through the dreary days of not-quite-spring. These small events encouraged me when I needed a boost, and got me to thinking.

I have the pleasure of claiming a delightful woman in her 90’s as my friend. For fun I gave her a package containing 4 greeting cards with images of my work on them. Several weeks later I happened to see them carefully laid out on her table, unused. “I’m waiting for frames for them”, she said. “I could never actually use them, they’re too beautiful for that!” For that sweet comment I carefully matted and framed them, and now they’re hanging over her couch in an artful display.

©2008 Patricia Scarborough  Spruce Ridge Greeting Card.  Original 11x9 pastel
Long long ago I painted a mural above the fireplace in a woman’s home at her request. It was a simple painting of her homestead long since destroyed by water from a reclamation project. She passed away years ago, and honestly, I’d forgotten about it. Just recently I was visiting with the young woman whose family moved into that house and she said to me, “The mural is still there, and we love it. We’re thrilled to have your painting in our home. Our 4-year old makes up stories about the family who used to live in the house.”

And just last week an artist whose work I’ve always admired called me on the phone. She said, “I wanted to let you know I’ve just spent a lovely afternoon looking at your artwork on the web. Thank you for making the afternoon so pleasant.”

©2008 Patricia Scarborough Indian Summer Greeting Card  Original 24x18 pastel
And here's what I got to thinking about.

There’s a lot of talk out there about Advocating For The Arts. Usually the conversation turns to dollar amounts in the millions, federal funding, public art projects and the like. Support is not just voting for a bill or waiting for a donor to build a theater.What we forget is that supporting the Arts can - and should - begin at a very basic level.

Embracing the Arts is as simple as a conversation between you and someone else. It’s appreciating what another person does, and communicating that feeling. It’s a simple “thank you” or “nice job”.

Its signing your kid up for a dance class and letting them learn the joy of movement no matter how clumsy they are. It’s learning how to let that kid play with pipe cleaners and paint and not worry about whether they’re gifted or not. It's learning to ask questions about what you see, learning to wonder about how something came to be, whether it’s three-year old’s tempera paint blob or the Eiffel Tower.

It’s Handsome Husband listening to his wife struggling to get the idea out.

It’s not complicated, really. Think about it. What do you do to support the Arts?


bluesurly said...

There's something very special about knowing the person who created the works of art hanging around our home. Of course, it helps to know some incredibly talented people and to have such a great local gallery :) Keep creating Patty, and we'll keep appreciating - if you were here I'd give you a hug. Since you're not, you'll just have to imagine one!

Hannah said...

Patty, I really enjoy reading your posts--they are so thoughtfully written. Your stories above make me think of the lovely comments I've received from people about my work--and you remind me that these are words to be cherished.

Patty said...

Thanks you two. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in "making it" that we forget what we already have.
Hugs accepted and returned!

Storypainter said...

Beautifully said, Patty! To paraphrase an old saying, "all art is local". Every once in a while, I get a nice comment on works that I may have done years ago and forgotten about, and that boosts my spirits. So it happens to you, too! Wonderful feeling, isn't it? Thank you for sharing.

Patty said...

I'm pleased to boost your spirits today by saying, Wow, gorgeous paintings on your site! Glad you stopped by.