Getting Started in Art


Life as art is about being a Noticer. It’s about showing others around us what we see and how we see the world uniquely. Every star in the universe is different, every snowflake is different, every human being bears a different fingerprint and I think that’s on purpose. We have a unique fingerprint on our perception of the world around us.

Oprah reminded us all a few years ago to “Remember our Spirits.” Remember when she took the last five minutes of her show and lit candles and got all warm and fuzzy and talked about her “Spirit”? Everyone has a soul, a spirit, a body--each part of us equally important it. We all forget. Every single one of us, myself included, forgets that we have a very soul-self that is longing to speak. We each have a unique soul; each soul expresses her voice differently to the world. 

Art is a way I unleash my soul, take a minute to breathe, let all the business, deadlines, carpool schedules and family schedule conflicts and chaos go. It’s when I go to my “Happy Place”. Where I try to connect with my soul again.

For myself, I live and breathe art. But if you want to know a secret, I’ll let you in on it: I really stink at lots of “artsy” stuff. I’m sort of allergic to paint, so I had to give up my painting career about a year in. I am not a very good sketcher. My doodles resemble a Kindergartner’s and teachers really never asked me back to help cut and paste stuff for my kids’ classes because I cannot cut a straight line. But I notice stuff. I notice everything. Like an orange leaf laying in the grass, or the way the clouds are drifting over my house. I see beauty in spiders and ants and bugs and birds and trees and wind. So I take pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.  Photography for me is a sort of prayer. A thank you to the Creator of it all. To let Creator know I’ve noticed. That I’m opening my soul to the beauty around me. Photography fills my soul and helps me breathe.

Every person is different. Every creative expression is different. For women like us in Michiana, there are lots of ways to find your own soul’s unique expression. Most are very affordable, and some even free! Here are some fun and very do-able ideas even for non-artsy type people:

Wine and Canvas. A lot of my friends have tried Wine & Canvas, an evening or event you can attend with friends or coworkers, drink some wine and receive instruction on how to paint an incredible painting. You can walk away with a masterpiece that very night!

Flourish Boutique hosted a night like this for women to get together, drink some wine, paint some pretty stuff and do a little shopping. Flourish plans on doing an event like this again soon, so keep your eyes open!

Snoop around Pinterest. There are amazing and easy ideas for any kind of artist you want to be.

Ask a friend. Are your friends artsy? Ask them to teach you what they love to do. Do they knit, crochet? Sew? Cook? Paint? Ask them to instruct you in the basics next time you get together. I guarantee they would love to share their passion for their art with you.

Art journaling. Get a journal (preferably with no lines) and doodle away. Fill every page with a word, though, idea or poem. There are no rules or time limits. Express yourself without judgment.

Make your own music. If Music fills your soul, make some. It can be fun, silly or serious. The only rule of music filling your soul is that there are no rules. For us as a family, music sets the tone of our household. I prefer wordless quiet music in the background to keep my heart, mind and soul connected, while the rest of my family prefers loud, crazy, noisy music. But it fills their souls with genuine happiness. Figure out what works for you. Tune in some music and listen to your soul.

 And some final advice for whatever artistic endeavor you head toward:

  • Start simple
  • Don't be discouraged
  • Don't be bashful
  • Try and try and try until you find something that calms your soul, renews your mind and stretches your imagination.
  • Share your art. You never know who will be motivated by what you create.

Every soul is an artist, a Noticer. Notice what you do and share it first with you, and then with the rest of us. The beauty you bring into the world will inspire us and cause us to know you and the world we live in just a little bit better.

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