Closing My Eyes

I regularly catch myself making snarky comments about not being an artist. It’s not that I “am” this or that I’m “not” that, rather it’s that as a child, the artist that I wanted to be wasn’t someone who just needed to make things and draw pictures, everyone did that. An artist was someone who invented new ways of seeing what’s familiar. An artist opens up spaces to discover ourselves. An artist slows us down. An artist teaches by sharing.

There was only one example of what an artist looked like in the world in grew up in. It was a ghost of a past woodshop teacher named Grant Wood. He was a craftsman and a teacher. A man of ideas and art. Everything in his paintings and prints was familiar and comfortable. His work permeated the neighborhood I grew up in. Original paintings were left on school walls, his carved benches hidden in hallways, murals tucked away in long forgotten rooms, light filtering through glowing cathedral windows. I knew what an artist was and what an artist did.

I am not an artist… but I do enjoy closing my eyes and pretending. It’s not a tough call.

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