Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Got a second love?

I don't sing, don't paint, don't dance, though I did want to be Fred Astair when I grew up. I do some flower gardening, and that has an artistic feel to it, but it's such a modest amount of gardening that it barely counts as a hobby, even.

But there was a time about ten years ago when I fell madly in love with another art--making paper. I'm not talking about making paper for writing letters on, but real paper "art," created at a studio full of vast lovely sloshy vats of mushy vibrant colors. I did abstract stuff that probably only a mother could love, but I LOVED doing it. Got obsessed with doing it. Spent money I didn't have over at that studio owned by a "real" paper artist. Forgot about my writing, wanted only to create visible beautiful weird material things out of mushy wet sopping drippy mess.

I finally forced myself to give it up. It felt like adultery and giving up a lover! But I was already deeply "wedded" to my primary art, writing, and that's how I made my living, such as it was, and, and, and. . .

Obviously, I'm waaaay too obsessive. A sane person could probably have their cake (writing) and eat it, too (paper making). But my creative channel seems to be a single wide one, rather than one with many tributaries.

What's your main "art"? Do you have another artistic love, too? More than one other? How do you balance them? How do you justify the cost, if it's expensive? (Seems as if multiple arts ought to feed each other, but when I tried it, the second one threatened to devour the first one. )

Is there an art you have always wanted to pursue, but never have?

One that you once fell in love with, like me, but "had" to give up?

Well, I'm off to take my one horse out of the stable now and give it some exercise. :)

A most happy and artistic Wednesday to you!


Nancy P said...

I think I love tactile arts. Hands in dirt or water. I could never do pastels, because I don't like the feel of them in my hands. (As if I could do that kind of art anyway, lol.)

Oh, I forgot! I also love to paint furniture.

Nancy P said...

On of our blog friends, boran2, does a cool thing on each blog. Every Saturday he shows the progress he's making on a painting he's working on. It has been wonderul to watch his ability develop, and he has encouraged others to work on their own stuff along with him.

Here's his blog .

Nancy P said...

that should have been "his blog," instead of "each blog."

Anonymous said...

Your paper-making sounds like it was fun - maybe someday you'll dabble in it again. Although being single-minded isn't a bad thing when it comes to art - and passion.

I think my other "art" is traveling, truth be told. At least it's the other thing that whispers to me late at night...draws me into its grasp...grabs hold of my heart and won't let go until I pull out a map, or get into the car. Problem is, it gets in the way of my writing. I tried to do travel writing to combine the two, but the complexity of a novel is too alluring.

Is there anyone else out there who CAN juggle more than one "art"/passion? If so, how do you manage it?

Catharine said...

Ah, Second Loves. This is exactly the problem that's been haunting me.

Nancy, how do you do this? It's amazing how often your posts focus on something I've been thinking about.

My first love is computer programming. And if you don't see that as a creative occupation, you've never done it. I could go on and on about the things I like about it but, I'll save you that (and I just deleted about 5 paragraphs to prove it.)

But I've recently been seduced by 2 other loves, blogging and photography.

So that's 3 loves -- how's that for fickle? 3 hobbies that could each be full-time professions -- AND I've got a full-time job as well.

I'm working on ways to integrate them all, but it's hard. And maybe futile.

Nancy P said...

Beth, your post on your own blog today is lovely, and reflects your love/need to let go and move on into that art of traveling. Here's a link for anyone who'd like to read it.

Do you love all kinds of locomotion, or mainly road trips? They can be so artful, I think, because of their potential for creativity in the form of side trips, pauses, etc. Hard to pause or take a side trip in a passenger jet.

Nancy P said...

Cathy, you have a LOT of talents for one person. And the remarkable thing is that of the ones I know about, you probably could make a living at them--like creating websites, etc.

I wish you hadn't deleted those other paragraphs. :)

Catharine said...

(blushing) Thank you Nancy, really.

It would be great to do websites for people full time. It would be a way to draw all those interests/hobbies together.

On a side note, I just found out that my dentist's eyes are infected and he's canceled my appointment so HE can go to the doctor.

And now, I've got to go to work! (waaa)

Man Eegee said...

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

One thing I do every once in awhile is make DreamCatchers (that's just an example, not one of mine). It allows me to meditate, wave my creative wand abit, and enjoy the look on the face of whomever receives it.

I also do a little calligraphy and have made greeting cards in the past. Haven't done that in a long time so perhaps I need to get crackin'!

Let's see, I also DJ on the side which allows me to mix music and create a party atmosphere. And, I guess I write a screed here and there. ;)

Jen said...

Writing is my first and primary artsy love, but we have a poly sort of arrangement so neither of us gets jealous.

I'm bad at art, generally (unless one counts cooking; I'm a very good cook), but another thing in the art category that I enjoy immensely is making stained glass windows. I've not done it in years, but I used to compensate for my lack of visually artistic talent by buying pre-made patterns or asking a friend to draw me one, and then getting help picking glass textures and colors, so I really just wound up responsible for the craftsmanship portion of it.

I also love to build computers, which, after I built a couple, I started categorizing as an art.

Kelly McCullough said...

(waves at everyone)

My primary art and the one I make my living at, writing, is actually my second artistic love. I was a theater brat of the fanatical kind and I did a bit of everything there, acting, set and lighting design, costuming, directing, script work, improv, the lot really.

The reasons I walked away are twofold, wanting to have a life (the hours and travel involved if you're serious are not life-compatible), and theater people. Some of them are wonderful and I love my theater friends, but the environment is is political, overdramatized, and downright poisonous in places--acting is filled with people who have made it their life's work to get away from being themselves which is not the sign of a healthy self-image.

Nancy P said...

Is this a talented group, or what? Dream catchers, cooks, computer whizzes, D.J.s (or at least one), photogs, painters,calligraphy, stained glass windows. . .

Let's find a great old building and open an artist's colony, only some of you are going to need 3 rooms, at least.

I haven't been able to get this conversation out of my mind today. I'm thinking. . .I used to believe I couldn't do paper art at home, because I didn't have access to water where I'd need it, and other excuses. . .and I realized today I now have a place where it's possible. . .


Anonymous said...

I think you need to get back into it, Nancy! Maybe while you're making paper your brain will work out plot problems - or help you find your way on days when your writing muse stumbles. You sounded so passionate about it!

Thanks for the kind words (blush). You are inspiring me to do more with my posts than just log my daily activities...

I like car trips the best, because I can control where I go, and when. No screaming babies, no stripping for TSA folks, no three hour delays on the runway... Although if I had a private jet, I'd most likely prefer THAT method of travel!! But til then, my Toyota and I will ply the highways and byways. Stopping to visit pretty places and good friends, of course.

I am SO impressed with ALL of your talents - maybe it's true that if you're artistic in one field, it oozes into others...

Nancy P said...

Kelly, when I went to college, I thought I'd choose between theater and journalism, but one semester with the theater majors convinced me otherwise.

boran2 said...

Thanks, Nancy, for flogging my blog. While I've painted for years, once upon a time I also did sculpture. I'll have to post some of my old ones. Painting requires little in the way of cost or space but sculpting can be considerably more demanding. I'd love to get back to it some day. (I've actually welded steel, cast aluminum and carved wood sculptures in the past.)

Nancy P said...

Photos of your sculptures, yes, b2.

I finally changed the Quote for the Day (Week. Eon.) at the bottom of the front page. Seemed right for today.

Catharine said...

I love your quote, Nancy -- I always loved Erma Bombeck! And I think it's part of what I'm thinking of when I think I really might give up a steady job and health insurance to do -- something Different, that I Want to Do -- next spring.

It's hard to be totally creative when you're working for someone else.

Nancy P said...

And you'll be young when you do that, too, Catharine.

I haven't had health insurance for 15 years, and I'm still breathing. Today anyway. :)

Catharine said...

Was it scary when you first didn't have it? It's not going to stop me, but the fact that we've got so much cancer in our family does make me pause a little.

Just a pause though. We're pretty committed to the idea.

Nancy P said...

Well, if I'd had health challenges, it probably would have been scary. But it wasn't. I was partly fueled, even way back then, by my deep disgust with the health and insurance industries in this country. I felt as if people were trapped, almost blackmailed, you might say. "Buy this, or you die!" Plus, there was the element of truly sincerely wanting to test out the limits of the mind-body thing. So I thought I'd up the stakes. Oh, and did I mention I couldn't afford it. :)

Catharine said...

"I was partly fueled, even way back then, by my deep disgust with the health and insurance industries in this country. I felt as if people were trapped, almost blackmailed, you might say. "Buy this, or you die!" "

Ah -- I totally agree with this. Have you seen my latest dKos signature?

Nancy P said...

Oh, wow, great sig, Cathy.

True dat.

FARfetched said...

I've got to comment here, even though it's going to put me even more behind on my (perhaps) futile quest to catch up with everyone.

If there's one thing I'd like to pursue, it would be videography. Specifically, making documentaries. I've actually got ideas for two kicking around. What makes it hard is that writing easily bleeds over into videography — both video and the written word have a flow to them, more so than the static photo or painting. (At least IMO.)

For now, I can satisfy the urge by helping out Mrs. Fetched with her own video business. I tape from the sidelines at park/rec football games with a monopod, provide B-roll shots at various events, and occasionally slip away to do something on my own.