Dreams of a Would-Be Artist

Sometimes I really wish I was an artist. Visual artist, I mean – painter or draw-er or whatever. Make pretty things happen on paper person. Sometimes my hand truly itches to grasp a charcoal pencil or a paintbrush and sweep it across the page, letting magic take shape and form in its wake.

Usually this is what happens:

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My grandmother was an artist, and under her patient and determined tutelage I felt like a decent young artist growing up and had a quite few pieces I was proud of. Mostly horses.  I really liked horses.

I was always best at copying things. I can still sit down and painstakingly copy something to an acceptable degree, except maybe somebody’s nose is a little far too the left or their eyes are too high or the trunk of that tree is too small for the branches. Something that I could probably remedy with practice.

What I’d really like to be able to do, though, is create on paper (or canvas) what I visualize in my head or see in real life. A scene or a beautiful building, or just to capture the essence of a friend. Just to take these ideas that take a thousand words to etch out and let them live in a picture.

But my hands don’t know how to make the shapes. The shades. The contours. Perspective. My hands, though trustworthy on the neck of a violin, are almost imperceptibly shaky and, if my handwriting is any indication, erratic on paper.

I’m definitely not ungrateful for the talents I’ve been given. I know I can turn a phrase (not verbally, gosh, I’m an awkward goose in real life) and  carry a tune and make up a nice melody. I find joy in doing all of those things.

It’s only that the impulse to create seems to grow bigger and bigger than the avenues I have for indulging it.

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