At the centre of your being you have the answer, you know who you are and you know what you want ~ Lao Tzu

Thursday, August 12

Anxious thoughts...

"The only thing that really matters is to create something."

Lady Ottoline Morrell

But she had enough humility to know that she was not an artist. She came to view herself as someone with the painful sensitivities of an artist but without the talent, and she devoted herself to making the world more hospitable to
artists... Her aristocratic background brought a particular frisson to her friends in the arts, and their creativity gave her a passport to worlds she might otherwise only imagine.

Katie Roiphe, Uncommon Arrangements, p. 194

I identify with Lady Ottoline... wish I had her wealth so I could be a true patron of the arts!! But I do my bit - by buying as much handmade stuff from etsy as I can :)

I, too, put great store by creating something - a family/ a career/ a home/ a memory - but I cannot agree with Katie Roiphe's assessment, as I believe everybody can be - indeed is - an 'artist' - including Lady O. She doesn't expand on this one sentence from Ottoline's memoir, so we don't know if Ottoline's definition of 'create something' was as narrow as Roiphe's...

I think being an artist isn't about being a 'successful' painter, sculptor, actor, dancer, etc. or being 'talented' - whatever that means - it's about creating something, creating a life that has meaning. I've read elsewhere that Lady Morrell's hospitality was legendary - she was the consummate hostess! And Ottoline may well have seen it as her contribution to the world, her 'art', giving her life meaning.

Hence, I'm deciding what's important to me, and making time and space for it. Deciding, yes, I do want to learn the skills of drawing and painting, because they are meaningful to me. If baking a cake floated my boat, I would want to learn the skills involved in baking cakes, but it doesn't, so I don't.

The anxiety comes when, having made this decision, I'm now full of worry and doubt...

How will I afford it?

Will I be good enough?

Since I'll never be as talented as the artists I admire, is it worth even starting?

Am I just setting myself up for failure?

Surely it's too late at 46 to learn to draw?

etc, etc, etc.

The reality, of course, is who knows??

But if I never try, I'll never know...

Indeed, I'll never be able to draw like Leonard da Vinci, simply because I am not Leonardo.

I will learn to draw like Claire Sauer, and the more I practise and practise, the better I'll get - hopefully...


Elizabeth Dahlmeier said...

Hello to you my dear, long lost friend!!!
I was just telling someone about you 2 days ago. Then today I was looking up an old email and found your last blogsite, from which jumped to this one!!! It's so good to know how to "reach" you. I'd love to be able to email and call you. How/when/where??? Lots of love to you, Beth (Dahlmeier)

Claire said...

OMG!!! my beloved friend - you have made my day/week!! my email's
we have just moved... LOTS to tell you!
i was thinking of you too - found old photos when packing - you, me, ellie; you at brenda's the other year... i went to see her in jan - my first solo trip since the stroke...
i hope you get this and can email me :) xxx