I’ve tried my hand at many arts and crafts. I’ve always been a maker. I’m busy, very busy.  I can hardly sit still.  I think my husband, Steve, measures my wellness by my level of activity.  When I’m not busy he asks, “Are you feeling okay?”.

When I retired, I couldn’t wait to begin the next chapter of my life… making arts and crafts.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve explored ceramics (thank you Karen Brock), jewelry making, paper mache, woodworking, linoleum block printing, collage, gel printing, metal sculpture and textiles.

What I’ve found out, on this journey, is that I don’t like making things that are exacting. Let me rephrase that… I CANNOT make things that are exacting. When I start with a fully-formed vision, I disappoint myself because I just can’t implement the idea to my level of satisfaction.

I cannot make quilts… although I love them.  My ceramic pieces were pretty wonky and never got any better with practice. Jewelry takes fine motor skills I no longer have.  But, each and every artistic endeavor has taken me on a journey of learning, allowing me to take my successes and failures and apply them going forward.

And so I’ve learned to start with an idea, not a fully-formed and expected outcome. I learned to let an idea evolve during the process and anticipate an unexpected result.  Is that what an artist does?  I’m beginning to think so.