Picking My Art

Splash, WIP

In the last month, I’ve painted paintings, made jewelry, written poems and papers, created immersive virtual field trips for my students, and designed two new home plans. For years, I thought my creative bursts of frenzied energy were distractions from pursuing painting seriously, but, as I get closer to starting a dissertation and putting on an art exhibit, the bursts seem to be more than mere distractions.

When I paint, I feel as if I’m breathing again, but the same feeling happens with so many other creative pursuits (even writing a research paper).  I couldn’t put my finger on it until Thing2, an increasingly serious musician emerged from his room with his guitar on Christmas afternoon. He gave us all an impromptu concert of the Vince Guaraldi version of “O Tannenbaum,” surprising us, not with his ability to pull a new note-perfect song out of his hat in a few minutes, but with his choice of tunes.

He started as a confirmed rock guitarist a few years ago, seeking out the classics (“Mom, have you ever heard of this really old band called Led Zeppelin?”) and discovering future classics. He was less excited by jazz or classical, but, recently, his search for new challenges has led him down previously ignored paths and to additional instruments and expressions of music. Bossa Nova is in the same playlist as AC/DC, Metallica, and Count Basie.

And I realized that my youngest isn’t just a guitar player. He’s a musician – an eternal apprentice to his craft.

It made me think about my own creative journey and the path my blog has taken over the last 10 years.

This blog has never been about making money — even from my paintings. It has had paintings but not been about painting. It has had cartoons without being about cartoons. It has had art without specifically being only about art (until recently).

For most of its life, this blog has been exactly what it says — Dispatches from the Creative Homefront. It has been about finding the creativity in the mundane activities that make up most of our lives. And last, but not least, it’s been about the hope that people reading the blog leave it a little happier than when they clicked on it.

It’s not a way to make money (hey, I’m a teacher after all), but it is one way to make a blog.