On a recent post about my paint parties, imdonna wrote “what a wonderful way to help people gain confidence…” or something very similar. I love that she wrote that, because that’s why I do it. So many people have become convinced that making art is for the people and frankly, in some cases that’s been perpetuated by the art community, artists themselves, critical people, even some arts educators. I believe this is incredibly destructive.
Let me state for the record that I don’t believe everyone must become a professional artist. Though I do believe that anyone who desires to can if they are willing to work hard, persevere and do something else for a living while they find the people who love their work. Again, though I am not saying that everyone must or even should become a professional artist. I am saying that making art is good for the soul. It helps us get the stuff we’ve bottled up inside, out. It helps us to express ourselves and the things that are hard to put into words. I think the world would be a happier place if people felt they had permission to grab a pencil or a brush and get things out.
Paint parties are fun. That cannot be denied nor should it ever be. There’s nothing wrong with having fun. My hope for them goes deeper. If I can help people learn a few basic techniques and tear down a little of the artist’s “mystique,” if I can show people they can do this, if for no other reason than their own sanity, health and well being, then this is doing what it is designed to do. I want to give people the confidence to try it on their own and maybe just maybe, creating will help them connect to their creator.
After all He calls into being that which was not. When we create, isn’t that exactly what we’re doing?