For the last few weeks I've been taking a hard look at some of my old work to determine just what is really worth saving and what needs to move on or move out. It might have something to do with the time of the year. We are approaching the Jewish High Holy Days. It's not all about wishing everyone a "happpy new year" and eating good food. It marks a serious time when we are supposed to be self-reflective, evaluative. It is a time that also prompts us to do "repairs" where things are needed. This might mean that we need to ask forgiveness or fix a wrong that we have created. This concept spilled over into my artful life as I started the "make-over" of several old pieces. I began thinking of how often we give up on a new skill or task because it seems too hard at first. Remember how we used to ball up our drawing after only a couple of pencil marks because it just wasn't right? Life is all about making mistakes and learning from them, "fixing" them as it were. If only we could approach our life that way-- accepting our shortcomings and embracing new opportunities to learn from our mistakes. Banish the blame, accept our limitations and learn to move forward every day.The best thing about artful mistakes is that each subsequent layer or addition only makes the surface richer and more textured. I want to embrace that in my everyday life!
With the approach of the new year I am making a commitment to revisit old skills and techniques and make them new again, reinvest in old surfaces transforming them into vibrant compelling pieces, and to giving my students the benefit of my experience and the wisdom of my age. I won't hoard my treasures or my secrets but share them and give them the opportunity to become a part of someone else's artful life. What things old are you willing to give a new life?