Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Art swaps

Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved to color.  She loved to turn the black and white paper bright with color.  She colored carefully; making sure that all her strokes were straight up and down and always kept within the lines.  However she never showed her pictures to anyone; as there was always some kind of mistake.  Sometimes the crayon would slip a little and venture outside the lines or maybe the strokes were not quite straight up and down or a little space left uncovered.  So in spite of her love of the bright colors; she kept the books to herself never showing them to anyone.  It wasn't as if it would have done any good the books wouldn't have been shown off any way.  There were no pictures on the refrigerator at her house.  She continued to learn on her own; always in the privacy of her room.  She learned to fill in with circles so the stroke marks wouldn't show up as much.  Up and down strokes just didn't look right.  She then discovered how to curve her strokes to follow the lines of the drawing.  Experimenting with combining markers and crayons came next and she became more and more pleased with her finished pictures.  However she still kept them to herself, hiding them.  Hiding them because of the little gremlins who were developing inside her; telling her of her mistakes and telling her that her improvements were really failings because she should have known better.  Then she learned how to paint and a whole new adventure started for her; it was short lived but a step in the right direction.  One day she showed the paintings to her teacher who put them on the bulletin board and soon she had her own spot to display her paintings.  With a new teacher and a new year this stopped and she went back to keeping her art work to herself.  Once again hiding what she was learning.  This went on for years, while her little gremlins inside kept pointing out her mistakes and asking why try, if there was always mistakes and never acknowledging the progress being made.  Soon she was doing less and less art.  But the artist inside her kept trying to sneak out past the gremlins, sometimes succeeding, sometimes not.  As she got better and better she started to be noticed for her art.  Sometimes the artist inside would make it past the gremlins and she would share and be accepted.  After years and years of this now as a grandmother she is learning to love to share her art even in it's imperfection.  She is still learning not to listen to those little gremlins.  Instead she is learning to listen to the pleasure it brings to her to share, the compliments and pleasure she sees as others enjoy her work and the small voice that tells her she is making progress.

In case you couldn't tell that little girl was me and sharing my art now brings me great joy both on the Internet and in person.  I recently found an art swap site ( that I have joined.  It is free and they have various avenues in which to share your artwork.  Some are for newbies and some are for more experienced individuals for which you must qualify just by doing a good job of keeping your commitments.  I picked a mail art swap and the above is the envelope that I did.  They also asked to include something in the envelope, since I am best known for my photography I sent a photo with a letter.
I am looking forward to receiving mail art from the person assigned to me.  I plan on doing more swaps and maybe you would like to join me and know the pleasure of sharing in a new way.



Debra She Who Seeks said...

Happy for you that you've discovered art swaps!

Ann's Art said...

Sounded just like me there in your post!....glad you share your paintings the art swap envelope.

~April~ said...

Thanks for signing up for my swap! Your envelope looks great... I'm sure your partner will adore it and the lovely picture you included! :)