The Art In All Of Us

Last night was the start of a new AllWriters' Wednesday Semester. I call them semesters, but they're really 10 week sessions. It was a night of new personalities. There were four new students in this particular class. It looks like there's all levels of expertise as well. There are brand new writers who are taking their first formal class, established writers who have been published, a memoirist who is doing journalling in the hopes of turning it into a book, and a poet who's just looking to get involved in a new group.

As much as I am an introvert, I find it fascinating to meet people who share interests that I do. My wife says I'm scaring her as I get older, the way I engage people who I don't know very well. It's very unlike me, actually, and frankly it's scaring me as well. I just have a hard time not talking to people about the whole writing process, their experiences, my experiences, etc. I think it's just a phase and I'll fall back into full introvert retreat when the novelty wears off. Or maybe not. Maybe I need people more than I give myself credit for.

It seems I'm going through an artistic appreciation stage right now. Everything from my daughter and son's art talents, to the oversized art-covered guitars and artistic bike racks they are going to place in downtown Waukesha, to hanging with fledgling writers, to just having a great respect for musicians both at the amateur and professional level. There's something so cool about the creative mind and all that comes of it. Beautiful sonnets, frightening horror novels, brilliant poems, heart stopping lyrics, stunning artwork - painting/sketching/sculpture, photography, and to a lesser extent the video medium.

Each of these requires its own skill set yet at the same time, shares the same part of the brain. I've always said I'm not an artist, or that I suck at drawing and painting. Could I learn it? Perhaps. But maybe not. I do believe that there are people that have an innate ability to visualize and depict things much better than others. So, while I might be able to teach myself to draw, I would never be able to be as good as those born with that gift. I could practice it for 60 hours a week and it would still look like the man in my drawing had one eye that was bigger than the other. Or that his hand had a pinky that was bent at an odd angle.

This is not a knock against me or my ability, just a realization that it's not my gift. Nor do I have a passion for it. That's not to say that there's no place for the practice of art in a non-artist. Art as an outlet is a healthy thing, in my opinion. It's a bit like a person who's "not athletic" trying to make a point of working out, not because they enjoy it, but because they know it's good for them. We all can benefit from stretching ourselves. Along these lines, I think my next venture may be guitar lessons, as I favor music over graphic arts. I could have a passion for learning music.

So look for my new CD in record stores near you soon. Because now I'm...blogging off.


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