Its mid-January....the days are short but seem so long. The holidays are over and the hectic nights of sewing, painting, selling crafts...making sure everything is ready for that big day is in the past.
January brings hibernation. Our bodies want to relax and sleep just like the bears. The nights start early and stay late into the morning. I am not one to sit still, but this time of year I fight the urge to just do nothing and stay inside so I try to get outdoors and enjoy the winter fresh air. Up here in Canada we love our sports. Hockey is number one and pond hockey has become very big in a town just north of where I live. In fact they have the biggest pond hockey tournament in the world! I used to play hockey but gave that up a few years ago. Baseball is my passion now. Last weekend on the snowy fields in our town a group of us with bats and gloves, heavy winter boots and toques walked through the snow to the baseball field. There we attempted to play ball. Talk about an exercise program we created! Running to first base when your the first at bat takes a lot of physical exertion and it doesn't get any easier if your the last at bat either!. We played for over an hour and BBQ'd hot dogs and drank hot chocolate. Lots of fresh air, food and good friends.
On the crafting side I have been lazy almost forcing myself back to the painting table and into my sewing room. Once I'm there its all good but the urge to just curl up in front of a fire and hibernate is very hard to fight. I've been painting more mason jar solar lights. Most of these jars have dates stamped on the bottom. Some I have go back to the early 30's. I often wonder what these jars could say if they could talk. Who packed them with fruits and sauces and pickles and put them on a shelf to be eaten? What were these families like? Now these jars are re-used for solar lights. Did anyone in the 30's even imagine a solar light let alone crafted from the jar they just ate from? We have come a long way in the past 80 or so years. I try to stay true to the old ways by creating objects from discarded items. That's what my parents and grandparents did and I feel proud to be continuing that part of them. Whether it was out of necessity back in their days or just out of a creative passion for me it all works out positive. Reduce/Reuse/Upcycle. Every little bit helps the planet.. We should all try it at least once.
My Mentor - Jon Gnagy
The first of my blogs shall begin with the start of a new year. This segment is about coming full circle in my artistic life. When I was a small child I would watch the Jon Gnagy Learn to Draw show on my black and white TV. Jon was a big part of my growing up and very influential in my young artistic world. He taught his listeners how to draw a circle and make it into a ball by shading and perspectives. He believed everyone had some sort of artistic ability. For Christmas I begged Santa to bring me a Jon Gnagy Learn to Draw Set. I wanted it so I could have all the right pencils and charcoal to sketch with. I woke up on Christmas morning and there it was under our tree. That kit never left my side during my childhood. It came with various pencils, charcoal, an eraser, a smudge tool, paper, tissue, drawing board, sharpener and a "How To Draw" booklet. This year I told my daughter if she wanted to get me anything for Christmas it would be the same kit I once had (there are various kits out there). This Christmas I opened up my present and found that exact same kit. It was complete with pencils, charcoal, eraser etc. She had found it on Ebay and was from an estate sale the seller told her. It even had all of the paper including 2 drawings the previous owner, maybe 40 years ago sketched. The next day I began reading his booklet and in his introduction I found this written....
"I believe that in the life of everyone there comes a time when the Art Spirit is dominant. You may have passed it when you were 5 or 7 or 11 years of age. But it will come again several times in your life when you are looking for something outside your practical everyday routine".
This statement was so true in my life. Upon opening that present I had told my daughter that it was a reminder that I had come full circle in my life (not knowing about the quote). After many years of raising a family and not painting or drawing, on a whim a few years ago I started to paint and sketch. I'm much better now than I was when I was 8 years old but I credit my ability to those early years of watching those TV shows and practising my sketching skills using his art set.
He was my mentor.
I believe everyone goes full circle in their lives. We find something we love, we wander due to growing up and growing away from our comfort zones and then we come back to those comfort zones years later much wiser.
Therefore I hope everyone has a wonderful mentor in their lives and to always believe that the good things will always come back to us.
Have a great New Year!
I am a self-taught wildlife artist from Muskoka, Ontario Canada