Friday, February 6, 2009

06: straight lines and curves

When I was in elementary school I loved art class.

I was a math whiz (well, arithmetic), I read and wrote just fine, and I had little trouble doing what I was supposed to do in science and social studies classes. But my heart was in art class. A perpetual slowpoke, I found myself two or three steps behind everyone else on any given project, but I was persistent through the painstaking creative process. There was always something very satisfying about the process: forming shapes and bringing colors together, and the product: something new and unique that I made all by myself. One day, when I was in second or third grade, my mom wanted to take me out of school early for some reason or another, and I absolutely refused because I could not bear to miss art class.

I'm not certain why it took me so long to figure this out.

The thing is, we all have artists inside us. As creations we have in turn been endowed with power to create, and that power includes the capacity to procreate —to immortalize the human race in the flesh— as well as the potential to create art —to contribute to the eternal progression of the human mind and to the enlightenment and delight of the collective human spirit as it strives to locate itself in the universe.

I remember this one assignment in particular: we were to take two pieces of paper and to fill as much of the blank space as we could. The rule was that one piece of paper could contain only straight lines, while the other would permit only curves. For some reason (or none) I just adored this exercise, and I remember being really happy with how my pieces turned out. They were entirely abstract and, as I recall, extremely colorful. (I wonder if Mom & Dad still have them somewhere?)

What you see above is a sort of variation on that theme, a little something that I did, not in elementary school, but just now, on this sleepy, rainy Friday night at home. Please forgive the weird shadow at the top: the page was just slightly larger than the scanner bed. Other than that, it's not really noteworthy, I know. But I feel like grabbing onto these roots will help me to get somewhere, or at least keep me grounded as I grow, ever reaching up toward the sky.


rantipoler said...

I wish I were an artist. I often feel I have artistic longings an no way to express them. I was into photography (I almost spelled that with an 'f' - thank you Spanish) in high school and won a ribbon at the county fair, but it's hard to be an artist without the right tools. Anyone want to buy me a digital SLR? Pretty please?

Papa Montero said...

The art piece is an apposite and enchantingly exquisite expression of the motif you sketched out in the post. You are hereby upgraded from the tight-fitting corset of savant-hood to the flowing cape fitting of a polymath. Keep up the multifaceted multiplicity of talents. You will make some lucky guy out there larkishly ecstatic!

chrome3d said...

When it comes straight from the head through pen to paper it´s so fast and direct. With computers there is always too much thinking, which destroys the "unknown".

skylark said...

A-L: You are.

And fancy instruments are nice (though outside of my budget as well, I'm afraid), but not essential. All you need is an outlet, or several, which you'll discover through a willingness to explore many different channels. Also, the basics. I mean, I used old crayons and an ordinary piece of paper. You already have a keyboard to type with or pen and paper to write with, music and a body to dance with, a voice to speak and to sing with.

Papá Montero, you flatter me. Gracias, Señor Pilipili. ;-)

c3d: A good point. There is a fine line between refining and self-censoring. I fear I frequently err on the side of the latter. But becoming aware of it helps.