White on White
I just sat there. It was an amazing feeling to see those words give meaning to a thought of mine. That's when I first knew that I wanted to be a writer.
That was back in grade six.
When did my dream change from wanting to be a writer to wanting to be an artist?
Another question - am I really truly an artist? The word still makes me feel like an impostor.
Yesterday, I stood behind a podium at the Inn at the Forks and talked about my paintings that were being displayed in the back corner. I could see them from where I stood - white on white.
All around me, the banquet room walls were covered with beautiful paintings by accomplished, recognized and imaginative artists who knew how to paint amazing portraits, jelly beans and butterflies with startling, vibrant colors that filled the room with inspiration.
The event, organized by Candace House as a Victims and Survivors of Crime Week event , was an awareness reception based on the chosen theme "The Power of our Voices" that had inspired the board to put on an art show followed by storytellers: Susan Aydan Abbott, Tina Keeper, Jackie Traverse and myself.
The event attracted a group of very special people, such as newly elected MLA's, Bob Lagasse, Andrew Micklefield, and Cathy Cox. There were the more familiar faces such as James Allum and Jon Gerrard. There were also many other supporters representing well-recognized causes, too many to mention, that took the time to gift us, not only with their presence, but with words of encouragement. Oh yes - and there were our friends -- Marge Lepp, Dave Wall, - and of course the board members including the president of Candace House, Darryl Stewart and executive director, Cecilly Hildebrand. These names are only a sampling to give you a feeling of the audience I was facing.
In the presence of such greatness, facing so many important people in my life and in our community, I had been mandated to talk about my art - those four pieces of white in the back corner for fifteen minutes.
Of course I also talked about my writing. I had even brought books to supplement my meager display but yet my talk was mainly about my art.
I am still surprised at the focus on my white paintings. Since the beginning of this year, this is the fifth event where I've shown one or more of my white paintings. Some have even sold.
And it is such fun to talk about my crazy love for white, my obsession that drives me in my quest for that perfect white. I'm not sure I convinced anyone of anything, but as intimidating at it was - it was still gratifying.
Directly after this event, I joined my husband at the art show he was organizing for his graduating art students. In a little St. Aiden's school room off of Notre Dame, they had together transformed a rather plain room into an art gallery. With office dividers and black cloths draped over who knows what - they were able to present their work elegantly and fluently.
The artists were so excited! So were their parents! So was their teacher!
What a day! What a gush of art and artists!
Do I belong to this world of visual art and artists?
Does it matter?
There is something very appealing about that instant gratification of viewing an art piece. You see it all immediately. Books take years to write and hours to read.
And art is a great equalizer, in that the gifted and the not so gifted, are both able to put it out there. Every one can put on display -- a tiny bit of their soul - which is in reality a creative invitation to connect.
I am here to live out loud. Emile Zola