Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Year of Voice

Every December, I typically do a mental rundown of my year: What did I learn? How did I grow? What have I accomplished? and so on. Yesterday I noticed an application on Facebook where you could design a page called “A Year in Status”. If you are familiar with Facebook you will understand what “Status” means, however, for all my readers who don’t have a Facebook page, I will explain. At the top of your profile page there is a box that says “Status” which is where you can write anything that is on your mind for the day. Share a thought or a quote or simply say, “I am making Christmas cookies with my kids today.” Your friends on Facebook will see this and they can click that they “like” what you said or make a comment on it. So, “A Year in Status” takes all the status comments you wrote through the year and puts them all together on a nicely designed page to share, for all to see. It was kind of cool seeing a whole year of my own comments on one page and it got me thinking about all the “Voice of the Artist” columns I wrote this year. I would like to take this last column of the year and call it “A Year of Voice”.

Create Love * Homeschooling Art-portunity * Inspire Forward * Art Windows of Healing * Love the One Your With * Life a Creative Adventure * Raising Artists * Creatively Green * Bragging Rights * Creative Communication * Found: Inspiration * Art That Brings Hope * Abundance Thinking * What is your sign? * Focus on Provincetown * Kennedy School Sets Young Artists Free * Summer Art * What Colors are Your Dreams? * Committed to Creativity * Life is Good * Fall Art * Beauty from Within * Art Rocks * Are We All Artists? * Thinking Makes it So * Creative Acts of Kindness * Just Say Thanks * The Gift of Art * You are the Boss of your Own Painting

After reading all the titles of my columns I immediately noticed that I started out the year with “Create Love”. As I think of who I am and the basic foundation of my thinking, Create Love is the perfect title to state what I want to come through in every column I write. I truly believe that love is all there is and the rest is an illusion. It is not so much what I say, but it is how I make you feel that will be remembered.

I crafted a prayer for you out of all my columns and have creatively summed up the year using their titles:

I pray that this year, of this artist, giving voice to create love has opened your awareness to inspire forward to bring the healing light of love to the ones you are with. Life is a creative adventure, whether we are raising artistic children or being creatively green, it is good to remember we are allowed bragging rights in the name of love. Creative communication is found inspiration and is an art that brings hope. Abundance Thinking is a sign of creative freedom that brings color to your dreams and the dreams of others. When we are committed to creativity, life is good and we bring out the beauty from within. It is then that we realize, that art rocks and that we are all artists because thinking makes it so. The bottom line is that creative acts of kindness, along with just saying thanks with a heart of gratitude, is a gift of art unto itself. Finally, I would like to say; this life you live, is a work of art and remember, “You are the boss of your own painting.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Gift of Art

One of my young art students came into my gallery yesterday with his mom to buy some art. The particular art he was interested in he had seen the day before when in art class. I noticed he kept going over to look at these new Christmas ornaments I had just got in from a local artist. He asked how much they were and didn’t act surprised when I said $25. They are intricate tiny scenes hand painted on mussel shells that are ready to hang on any Christmas tree or where ever you like throughout the year. The artist, Ruth Bacon, is from North Billerica but also has a home in Islesboro, ME where she has collected these mussel shells for years. She started out, last year painting lighthouses on them, but this past summer she began to get request to paint other places and homes on the shells. Her customers were so amazed at the detail that they would insist on paying her more money than she was asking for them. Ruth has been one of my art students for many years and I sold lots of her lighthouse shells last holiday season so she came back with a great driftwood display this year to show off her wonderful new collection of mussel shell ornaments. Included in the collection are paintings of the Billerica Library, the Bennett Library, the Congregational and Baptist church, Schooner Ships, New England Lighthouses and more.

My young art buyer took his time picking out the one he liked the best while his mom told me how he had come home from class the day before and asked her how many quarters there were in $25. He then asked if he could buy one of the shell ornaments. She told him he could and he proceeded to sit down on the floor quietly and count out 100 quarters to buy some art for himself. He then counted out another 100 quarters to buy one for his Nana, who also loves art. He looked and looked for the perfect one for his Nana and could not decide, so I showed him a lighthouse shell that had smoke coming from the chimney in the shape of a heart and he was sold. That was the one for Nana! His mom looked at me and said something that blessed my heart, she said, “How could I discourage my child from buying them when he so appreciates art?” As I put each masterpiece into a special gift box for him he lifted his two baggies of 100 quarters each onto my counter with a sweet glow in his eyes that gave new meaning to “the gift” of Christmas. I looked up at his mom and we exchanged knowing-proud-mom glances that wrapped the moment all up in the joy of giving.

Give the gift of art this year to those you love and to others who can not afford to send their creatively gifted child to classes. Come make your own hand painted ornaments (one for you and one to give as a gift) on December 14th or 21st. Both Tuesday evenings are from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. These two workshops will be our first annual Art Scholarship fund raisers. The cost is $25 per person per workshop. Limited space so call today to reserve your spot and create the gift of art not only in your life but in the life of a child.

Contact Colleen at: Colleen Sgroi Gallery & Art Classes, 12 Andover Road, Billerica, MA 01821 Email: 978667-1009