Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Five: Artsy Craftsy

1. Would you call yourself "creative"? Why or why not?

For most of my life I would have said No. My mother was an artist and as my ideas of color and composition were very different from hers, she always told me I had no talent. Sad, but true. I wonder how many creative people have been stifled in early childhood just because they saw the world differently?

Today I can say Yes. Partly because other people say I am and partly because I realize that just because the way I perceive things isn't always the "traditional" way that doesn't mean my way is wrong. I love beautiful things and try to create beauty even in such mundane tasks as arranging my dinner on the plate.

My father was an early computer expert who was disappointed in my lack of math skills, and my mother was an artist who felt I wasn't artistic. Now I use the gifts I inherited from them both to create artistic things with my computer. :-)

2. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you currently do that you'd like to develop further.

My two-pastors-ago predecessor had paraments made to match the carpet, not the season. In not very much time at all I made some fairly simple liturgically correct paraments for the church using computer graphics for the designs. They're kind of flat though I would love to have the time to learn how to achieve more complexity designs, using quilting techniques.

I recently made a baby quilt and pillows out of old blue jeans. The recipients love them, but it would be nice to know how to really quilt instead of making it up as I go along. :-)

3. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you have never done but would like to try.

Painting. It's not that I've never done it, but I gave up trying when my less than perfectly realistic paintings and drawings were relegated to the basement. I even registered for a painting class my last semester in college but was forced to change my class schedule when, just before the beginning of the semester, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and was scheduled for a hysterectomy during spring break.

4. Complete this sentence: "I am in awe of people who can _____________."
make drawings that actually look like the thing they are drawing. :-)

5. Share about a person who has encouraged your creativity, who has "called you to your best self." (I'm pretty sure that's from the Gospel of Oprah.

There are so many now. The first was Maggie, a friend back in Florida. She is the one who taught me about a loving God instead of the punishing one I grew up with, and convinced me that God gave me gifts in order that I might use them. All I had to do was figure out what they were. She encouraged me to try anything I was drawn to do in the pursuit of those gifts. Not to worry about being perfect, or pleasing my mother, or being just like everyone else, but bringing out beauty wherever I saw it, in whatever form was pleasing. Now I try new things and continue working with them if I enjoy them, whether or not my first efforts are "successful." She also encouraged me when I was called to the ministry and was sure I couldn't possibly succeed in college at age 44! She told me I couldn't know what I was capable of if I didn't try and that God wouldn't have called me to do something I wasn't capable of doing.

Thanks to Maggie and others, I know that I am a work in progress, and that God isn't finished with me yet.


Hedwyg said...

Maggie sounds like a gift and a blessing. Thank you for an inspiring post!

chartreuseova said...

I am so glad you discovered that you really are creative. Stiffling creativity in our youth is one of my big pet peeves.

I think we could all do with a few more Maggies in our lives.

QuakerPastor said...

I've got some old blue about making something out of them for me?!

rev maria said...

I was cutting and hemming squares of old jeans for years! I still have enough (unhemmed), after a baby quilt and some decorative pillows, to make anyway a couple more pillows. Now if someone would just teach me how to really quilt. :-)

Sally said...

wow- a quilt out of jeans- I am so impressed, and I love that you have brought together the talents of your father and your mother- that is really cool!