I am an artist

Mudstone Studios in Warren has updated their summer camp information and other class offerings.  As I read the descriptions early last week I thought about just how lucky we are as parents, to have this fantastic opportunity for our kids right here in our community – wheel throwing for teens!  And for the younger ones, imagine their joyfulness as they create an Indian elephant, a Chinese dragon, African pottery, Mexican maracas, and an Adobe house!  (What a great idea, building a sculpture class around world cultures.) 

Even as I noted the dates and times in my calendar (glad to have another possibility for August!), my mind kept returning to something else I had noticed in Mudstone’s class offerings … Adult Drop-in Sessions.  We spend so much time arranging our kids’ summers, making sure they have a good mix of enriching activities balanced with a healthy amount of unstructured play time – it’s so easy to forget to give ourselves the same consideration, but … Adult Drop-in Sessions, hmmmm.

The thought planted itself like a seed in my mind, and as I went about managing the busy final full week of school, it sprouted.  On Wednesday evening I went to the Bristol Warren Education Foundation’s Grant Award Celebration and watched the short documentary created by Katie Reeves once more, and was no less impressed and touched by the enthusiasm of the children learning to play music, create sculptures, build robots, and move their bodies across the rock wall.  On Friday afternoon I got the chance to attend the arts showcase at my youngest’s elementary school, and applauded the kids as they showed us what they’d learned this year about ballads and folksongs through music and dance.  Again, the exuberant joy!

The thought was growing in my mind, though I didn’t quite know what to make of it.  And then, on Friday evening I happened upon a post by Elizabeth Peterson of The Inspired Classroom, and pop! the thought unfurled, like a moonflower on the vine!  I love to create things, and I love the process of creating something – I am an artist.  I am also a designer and a writer, and I used to be an engineer, but I am not limited to describing myself merely by what I do for a living.  And, building on Elizabeth’s thoughts, when we reclaim our inner artists, we are setting a great example for our kids and encouraging them to explore their own potential.

Pablo Picasso is often quoted as having said “every child is an artist – the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”  Think back to the child you once were and remember, how are you an artist?  Did you love to draw, or paint, or play with clay?  Did you love to dance, or sing, or beat the drums?  Did you love to recite poetry, or make up stories, or act out scenes from plays (or tv shows)?  Or maybe you loved to knit, or bake, or plant things in the garden!  This summer, while the children are at summer camp (or playing in the backyard), reclaim your childhood artist and set aside some time to nurture your own creativity!

I will be dropping in on Thursday nights at Mudstone Studios to nurture mine.  I’ve already called artist-owner Ellen Blomgren to find out more, and she couldn’t make it any easier.  I don’t have to reserve in advance, it only costs $15 per visit plus $1.25/lb of clay (which includes glaze and firing), they welcome all skill levels (including those of us who haven’t set hands on clay since third grade!), and Ellen will be there so I can ask her advice.  This is important to me, because working in 3-d is not my easiest medium (or, genre?).  But challenging yourself is also part of being an artist, and without any overhanging expectations, challenge can be fun!

Maybe I will make something for my garden.  Or something small, to place on my kitchen windowsill to remind me of the summer.  Or something for my desk, something that winks at me and whispers the thought in my mind, “I am an artist.”

And so are you.

Find out more about Thursday night Adult Drop-in sessions and Mudstone’s Summer Camp opportunities and other classes by visiting www.mudstonestudios.com or calling Ellen at 297-9412.

2 thoughts on “I am an artist”

  1. What a wonderful post. Thank you for citing mine and for the kind mention. It is true that the more we cultivate our own creativity, the better it is for our children and students. I would love to extend an invitation for you to come to The Inspired Classroom’s Teacher Art Retreat this summer – 3 days of teachers learning and creating together in visual art, music, poetry and drama. (In nearby MA…childcare is also provided…) For more info, go to http://www.theinspiredclassroom.com/teacher-art-retreat-2011/

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. I enjoy your blog and your enthusiasm for teaching. And thanks for mentioning the Teacher Art Retreat coming up in August, it looks like a wonderful creative opportunity!

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