An artistic tangent

[I wrote this post in January and never put it up. This weekend was really busy and fun with visiting family and I didn’t get a chance to write up some new material. I hope you don’t mind reading something completely different today!]

My mother’s first career was as an art teacher. She still paints on weekends when she is not working. I enjoy drawing, but I never do it (when would I find time?). When my younger sister started getting really good at drawing, I was in middle school. I stopped drawing; I guess I didn’t like the competition. Now my sister has a B.F.A. I was right — she really was better than me!

I love art though, and I find it such a loss when schools close art programs. So much of my childhood was devoted to making art. I loved creating with markers, cray-pas, and colored pencils. One time I won a contest. I drew a picture of my family under a large tree and two houses on hills far in the distance. My grandma had it framed in her kitchen, but she recently moved into assisted living, so I think the picture is in a box. My prize was a large, yellow crayola crayon that I kept in my room for many years.

We also did ballet, but I dropped out in eighth grade when the girls started getting catty and I started wondering if my thighs were fat. My sister stayed in long enough to see dancers go on “orange diets,” eating only oranges for a day. I don’t remember exactly why or when she stopped dancing, but I think that had something to do with it. My mom was probably relieved she didn’t have to foot those dancing bills, but I know she believed they were worth the extra expense. Mom, they were — I still love dancing to music, though not ballet.

Looking back, my favorite part of dancing wasn’t going up en pointe, which I did even though it kills your feet. I definitely didn’t enjoy working at the barre. No, it was the end of class that was the best.

All us little girls in our black leotards, and hair up in buns slick with dippity doo, would line up in one corner of the room. We were ready to run and jump in the middle of the floor, diagonally running and criss-crossing, each taking one turn. Maybe I got three to four turns, or less when we ran out of time. If I didn’t get a chance to run and jump at the end, it felt like the whole class was a waste. Why do all that little precise footwork then? I wanted to get air, baby. [Another reason for recess for my students — they want to jump too…sigh]
Where am I going exactly with this post? Good question, I went off on a tangent there. I’m back.
Earlier in January, I read about vision boards (google image search: vision boards) and it inspired this blog post. What you do is brainstorm a topic, get a bunch of magazines together, cut out all of the images that speak to you, and paste them on a board. I saw it mentioned on this blog, and she pointed us to her inspiration (what a fantastic creation!) and a tutorial.
Vision boards are a great thing to do at the beginning of the year (when you are charting a course for your year), but even now I think this would be a blast to do with kids at school! My little guy is a bit young to get this, but I could give it a try since he got kid scissors in his stocking this past holiday. I would love to do a food vision board with all the foods I want to envision myself eating this year! If I ever do a vision board, I’ll share it with you…
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4 Responses to An artistic tangent

  1. Anonymous February 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Actually, many design firms put together "mood boards" of a similar nature to present to clients when working on branding projects, etc. Did you know that?

    It is a great brainstorm tool that opens up the creative process.

  2. Haily February 21, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    I took ballet for 15 years. I had to quit a few years ago due to a back injury, but still the sound of classical music always makes me want to twirl and leap 🙂

  3. Sara K February 22, 2011 at 2:40 am #

    Anon – I came here to write the exact same comment! Mrs.Q – they're also known as "mood boards"! They're so great for getting inspired and seeing similarities across a range of different things.

    I can't wait to see yours and any you help do (you will post pictures, right??).

  4. Anonymous February 22, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    The body-attitudes of ballet are actually a big part, as I understand, of why my sister moved from ballet into other forms of dance. Apparently she's never had a hassle over her shape in ANY other form of dance she's done – salsa, flamenco, Burmese, Kathak, Bharata Natyam – as she had in ballet. (I'll give it to you. The last two are forms of Indian classical dance.)

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