The Grass is Always Greener…

The Old Langley Library; monoprint on paper

It seems like no matter what you do, something that someone else is doing is invariably more interesting. I used to go to the old-time music camp in Port Townsend, WA and what the old time string band musicians really wanted to play (and did so at late night dances) was rock and roll.  And then there were the classical musicians who wanted to play old time string band and contra dance music (and did it very well) till the wee hours.  Then there is the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, that was started by some English country dance/ Irish fiddle/former high school marching band members…BIG fun.

Of course when I was in art school studying painting, we all looked down our collective noses at those crass commercialists in the printmaking and illustration departments.  And don’t even speak to me of cartoonists! So what have I been pursuing (in addition to painting!) in the last 15 years?  If you guessed printmaking, cartooning,  and illustration, you win the big prize!!!   Well, actually, there is no big prize…I lied.  I think I get a pass on being a complete a$$#@1e since I was in my teens and early 20’s at the time, and when you’re that age you think you know everything.  What I only found out later, is that almost everything, creative pursuit or not, can teach you something about your main work.  From etching, I learned to love process, strengthen my value range and composition in my paintings, and enhance my ability to meet a deadline.  The impulses toward narrative in my paintings has fueled my desire to make visual stories for children.  I even learned things working in the shipping and delivery warehouse/roasting plant  of a large coffee company, which shall remain nameless, since I don’t want to give them free advertising.

The point I guess I want to make is that we don’t have to choose just one thing to do in our creative life.  By indulging our impulse to explore other art forms, we make all our efforts stronger.  and we might even have some fun in the process. Be the Bear! (oops, wrong blog!)


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