I was so pleased with my wanderings at the art fair on Saturday, I knew it would be worth the effort to return on Sunday afternoon. Jack and I met a customer so he could deliver five loaves of pumpkin bread and then we shot down the highway to Memorial Park to elbow the crowds at the art fair. Since I had enjoyed myself losing time the day before I was prepared not to see art, but to watch Jack become inspired by what he saw, and Kira respond to the people. It is so necessary for me to get Kira out where the people gather because she loves to see action, faces, animals, and movement. She points her finger and wants to see if I see it also. She bobs to the live music, she says Hi with anyone she can make eye contact. She is fun to share with others. I don’t think I ever tire of the delight in people’s eyes when they see us together behaving like mother and daughter. The adoption is unspoken, and yet shouted into a crowd at the same time. And it is beautiful.It did not take Jack long to realize the art was not what he is used to seeing. It astounded him as he looked closely. And within ten minutes he was motivated and asking what he could make. As if the planning committee understood the timing of a child they placed a “make your own art” station precisely where he was ready to sit and create.
I liked their set up. For ten dollars he selected an example of art he would like to recreate, they gave him a laminated step by step instruction sheet to follow, squirted paint onto a paper plate and then he sat at an easel to work some magic. I strongly encouraged him to make me the bluebonnets because it is March, and I do have a small collection of flower art that the children have made for me over the years hanging in my art room.
I let Kira toddle around while he painted. He has the ability to relax into a creative mode and get lost in how his art can develop and become what he wants it to be. He can make what he imagines, and that’s why he doesn’t get frustrated. He has a clear eye for composition when he uses my cameras and enjoys visual stimulation. I hope we have a future together enjoying art. He’s the only one in the family so far, and I’m afraid peer pressure might ruin it in middle school. (as it did for Kevin who would not be caught dead looking at art in public with his mother)
Jack had a great time spending my money on junk food. He encountered the living tree having a sip of water from a man standing on a picnic table extending a long straw into the tree lips. We watched a water fountain show where the woman was dressed as a greek statue and water sprinkled out of her head and fingers as she moved to music. He teased me for buying more art for the garden. I said my walls are full.
Our favorites were the bronze eggs. We always remember what makes us laugh. And we forget who gives us grief. Some artists are fixed on the bottom line and they wear a scowl under a suspicious eye. I was disappointed to see bored and annoyed artists as people stream by as if the movement past their work conspires to keep them poor. One of the great privileges of an artist is to inspire art in other people. It requires inner fortitude to set up your creations among other artists. It’s best to believe strongly in the work, its uniqueness, and the customers will come. When they don’t it’s not criticism or rejection. We cannot connect with everyone every where all the time. The sparks of connection happen a little here and a little there. A joyful, open, sharing attitude can go a long way when a customer encounters an artist. I often think when I buy art I am also buying the memory of meeting the artist and how that encounter makes me feel. I want it to feel really good or I don’t enjoy looking at the art in the years to come. The artist and the art cannot be separated. This is why I love to buy paintings when I travel. Looking at the art in my home takes me right back to the plaza where I bought it and all the warm memories of a fantastic voyage return to me. The people come into focus, the foreign tongue, the smells of the food. That’s what I want to remember, and the art hanging on my wall or around my neck is a trigger to take me back whenever I feel the need to go.