Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Artocratic goes live!

A dear old friend, Linda Ceriello, has a new online art magazine -- artocratic -- which goes live today. I am thrilled to be featured as one of the artists in their inaugural issue (scroll all the way down to see a photograph I did a few weeks ago -- it's meringue on that whip). There's some really interesting work on the site, including three short pieces by writer (and high school classmate) Daniel Grandbois. Explore the whole site -- there's a lot of food for thought and I look forward to visiting it often.

In middle school (Prairie Middle School in Aurora, Colorado, thank you very much) I knew a very cool girl named Linda Ceriello. Linda and I were partners in 7th grade home ec. We made 13" red velour stuffed lips pillows together (pudding, too, but the pillows were the best part of home ec). She was the coolest girl I knew at the time -- very rock and roll. And at a time when I was painfully shy, she was my friend.

In high school (that's Overland High School, right across the grass from Prairie), we were both very involved in art and music. We had a high school vocal recital together...that's me all the way over on the left. Linda is second from the right. She was really good at art, and I was...intimidated. Now, I grew up making art -- it was always part of my life. It got me through a lot of times when actual confidence (which I sorely lacked) couldn't. I was always that kid who could draw, that kid who could do needlepoint, that kid who could... But Linda and another dear friend, Kris Langan, were really good at art. I mean really good. I didn't think I was in the same league and I let that guide me right out of Sam Short's art room (and, to be honest, from those friendships). What a mistake. I concentrated on the other thing -- music -- that was relatively easy for me. I went to school for that, and continued on all the way through grad school and the start of a career. Deep down, I always wished that I had stuck with art.

Now that doesn't mean that I regret the years I spent honing my musical abilities -- not by a long shot. I met people -- including my husband -- and had amazing experiences that I would never disavow. But whenever I'm especially stressed out, I've always returned to visual arts. Growing up with two very artistic parents, visual arts are probably hardwired into my DNA. And over the years, I've definitely gravitated to the visual side of things. Between photography, graphic design and the decoupage work, I'll probably put "artist" as my occupation on this year's tax forms. Not too bad.
All this is by way of saying that the thing you're supposed to be is probably always inside of you, if you only stop, sit quietly for a bit (hours, days, years) and listen really hard. It's already there. You have everything you'll ever have locked inside -- it's your job to figure out how you're going to realize it.
UPDATE: I received the nicest comment from Linda today (you can read it in the comments section) -- it's so interesting to see how different people experience the same thing. Also -- thanks Linda!

1 comment:

linda christine said...

Kathy- This is amazing-- I am just seeing your blogpost now. And now, as I sit in my "art room" in which I have done nothing arty in many months, I feel some awe at the memories you kept.
What blows my mind is that, just like you, I always thought I was not a good artist. No real drafting talent, not like my sister, or like Sandi Jostad, who was one of the stars of Ms. Short's class in my memory. In my story of myself, I always wanted to be "good at art," but with the shortage of electives we were allowed, and my perceived shortage of real talent, I gave that up to focus on music as well!

After my one art class in 9th grade--in which I think I got Bs on most of my projects, but pulled out an A in the class only because I dared to write a paper about 12-tone music and the dubious teacher had to admit that I seemed to understand it and even have something to say about it-- my mode of expression through college was singing (though I did not pursue it to the level that you did). Later, after a decade of yearning for music in my life again, I went through the process of unlearning a lot of that classical technique that Mr. Miyake, Walth and Mrs. McClay had taught us, so I could sing in a band. (What a multi-level confidence slammer -- and sometimes booster,, but mainly the former! -- that continues to be! It confronts levels of the ego that I didn't know existed!)
But I too ALWAYS wished I had allowed myself more time with visual art. Sometime in my mid-30s I did dedicate space in my house and in my life to pastels and gouache and wire sculpture and collage and so forth. But putting them in arms reach only goes so far. I continue to deal with the not-insubstantial flicker of ego that says, "you can't do this... this won't turn out to be good... why start?" every time I enter my art room.

So I admire your follow through to shaping your life so that you are creating your unique art and getting it out there. I understand so well how we wend our way through our past stories of ourselves to get to the current, not-yet-imprinted present-moment self who can, on a good day, fight that little silly demon back long enough to get the brushes wet!

Thanks so much for your post. It was dear of you to hold me and my inner artist in your consciousness in that powerful way!

LInda (2nd from the right--did she have us in order of voice there? You the 1st soprano on the left, me the 1st alto, etc?)

p.s. Thank you so much for including a note about ARTOCRATIC on your blog, too. Every time I see your photo on our site I just get a lovely thrill, both because I like it so much, and because someone (you) took the time to "see" the wonder in that moment of merenguing!