I do not think I am an artist.
I would say I am a creative person, but my drawing skills aren’t exactly what you would call even close to somewhat resembling professional.
There are a lot of fabulous artists in the community. Just take a look at all of our beautiful murals in the city. They are more than amazing artwork on walls. They are pieces of Moose Jaw’s culture.
And yet, despite my beliefs that I cannot draw, I decided to paint a sunflower on a chair while covering the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre’s Creating Chairs event for Culture Days last weekend. Later as someone else I knew was hesitant to paint a sunflower as well, I said: “You never know. You might surprise yourself.”
I think we can all apply that to our lives in one respect or another. We shouldn’t assume we aren’t good at something and avoid trying it if and when an opportunity arises.
I started painting convinced I couldn’t paint a sunflower good enough, especially considering the facilitator of the project was artist Gus Froese, who has painted some of the city’s murals. But I decided to give it my best shot.
Froese got me to do a practice sunflower first on a different chair and he showed me the technique. Satisfied, he said I was ready to paint a flower on the chair. And so I did. Not only did I enjoy painting this sunflower, but I focused a lot on the details to paint what I think was a pretty good sunflower.
Don’t put yourself in a box and seal the corners off. Sure we might know what we can do and we might think we know what we can’t do, but trying new things or testing your abilities to the limit might be enlightening.
I’ve heard the phrase that others have no idea what we’re capable of. This is true, but it goes two ways. Sometimes we have no idea what we’re capable of. And you can’t know for sure unless you try and keep trying.
Being a kid, an adult and a senior are all different phases of our lives. Taste buds can change with age. Interests can change with age. We can certainly change with age.
I’m not saying when you try something new or something for the first time that you’ll be good at it. You might fail. You might be great at it, but you might hate doing it.
But you might succeed and you might love it. You might not be very good at it, but you might love doing it.
Those are possibilities meant to be explored, not just when we’re young, but during our whole lives. It will keep us — and the world around us — fresh, new and exciting. There is a very good chance we’ll discover a part of us we didn’t even realize was there. Those experiences help make up who we are.
I hadn’t painted anything since elementary school. I didn’t think I was capable of painting or drawing anything half-decent. Yet my experience last weekend proved otherwise.
I still am not a very good artist. But now I know I do have some artist-like talent. Besides, I had fun trying and doing what I could and that’s equally if not more important than the end result.