All that glitters
Unlike Violet, Phoebe doesn't usually stay put. She's all over the place, flitting here and there, running about laughing, even venturing over to Violet's corner and inviting her to come out and play. On a good day, Violet does. And each time it's like discovering a whole new world. "Look at this!" says Phoebe. "Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it fun? Aren't we wrapped up in the joy and wonder of it all?"
On those good days, Violet responds, "Yes! I never knew it could all be so marvelous! How could I ever think that my one little corner was enough?" And she and Phoebe hold hands, laughing, skipping, just living and breathing pure magic.
But on the bad days, Violet, who has a pessimistic and mean streak, looks at Phoebe and says, "What's the use? What's so great about any of this? You keep trying, but it's just so hard sometimes, isn't it? Wouldn't you rather take a nap, Phoebe?"
Phoebe is fiercely independent and annoyingly optimistic, but even she can't hold out forever. Most of the time she simply tells Violet that she loves her and will always welcome her to come and play. But sometimes, on the worst of days, Phoebe takes Violet's gloomy advice and retreats to her own corner, drifting into an uneasy sleep.
A few weeks ago I signed up for a Postcard Swap hosted by Karen of Chookooloonks. The idea instantly thrilled me for two reasons. First of all, I love the idea of taking online community off-line into the "real" world. What an interesting way to connect with strangers who share at least one common bond (reading the same blog). The concept is fairly simple: Create a batch of handmade postcards using your medium of choice, mail them out to the 11 people on your list, and receive 11 little works of art in return.
The second reason I was excited about this is that I needed an art project to jump start me. I've mentioned before that I started dabbling with watercolours earlier this summer. I'm sad to say that I've only painted once since the class ended over a month ago. I want to paint and try new art forms (at this point, most art forms are new to me), but I never seem to get around to it.
I think about it a lot. But it just seems like such a hassle. I have to work on the dining room table, which means I need to put the kits in an upstairs bedroom, otherwise they'd be covered in paint and glitter . (Okay, I don't actually have glitter. Should I get glitter?) I tell myself that it'd be so much easier to paint and create if I had an art station in my office. That way I could make a mess and not clean it up if I didn't finish a project in one sitting. "If only I had a studio," I tell myself, "I'd create more."
But the real truth of the matter is that I'm scared. When I first started painting, I had no visions in my head of what I wanted to do. But very quickly -- surprisingly quickly, in fact -- I started to have ideas and inklings about what I'd like to see happen on the page. But I'm new. So new that I often don't have a clue about how to achieve my vision. I don't even know what materials to use. Heck, I don't even know what materials are available. I'm pretty sure that some of my visions aren't suited to watercolour, but I don't know what I need.
All I know is that I'm supposed to mail out 11 hand-made postcards in two weeks. And I don't want the recipients to be disappointed. As I fretted over this a few nights ago, a poem came to me, just a few lines long, but perfect and complete. I haven't written poetry in years and was surprised by its appearance. I'm taking it as a gift that I can use to anchor my vision for the postcard. At least I have a starting point now.
I'll share it -- and the postcards -- with you after everything is mailed out. In the meantime, tell me, how do you get your own artist to come out and play?