“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11
Once upon a time my job was to create art, and I was paid in grades and critiques.
My fear was found in housewife-y, mother-ish stuff. I thought the end of art was found at the end of a toilet scrubber. I especially feared vacuum cleaners. Who likes them? Not I.
My art process was messy, full of chemicals and ink, and ironically Mr. Clean factored heavily into my life. He didn’t do domestic work, he dissolved images of imagination. I was supposed to wear rubber gloves because Mr. Clean is dangerous.
It’s funny that I spent my art years making art about my fear of domesticity.
I’ve come full circle and now I don’t need a rubber squeegee or a pen to create an image that involves hand mixers and brooms. My life is hand mixers and brooms…and so much more.
Sometimes, when I’m in the kitchen making eggs or cake or whatever, everything aligns. The house is clean, the children are happy, the sun is shining and it smells like baking. Do you know that moment? The holiday feeling of peace and harmony and complimentary color? All is beautiful. All is art…but only sometimes.
Discord visits far too often but I am learning to embrace it, as a means to an end. I try to remember that when one is making art, there is a process. There is a mess first. There are ink smudges and misprints and proofs and sketches gone bad. The everything does not align all at once…it takes work and practice and mess to make things beautiful; to make art.
I never wore nice jeans to the studio. I wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty, in fact I expected it. I was fine with grime and chemicals because I had a hope. An expectation that my mess would make something beautiful.
I no longer work in the studio. I don’t even doodle. I don’t make the time, I don’t feel the need.
I am busy here, making messes, and masterpieces of existence. Some days you will find me in the kitchen, with a fresh batch of cookies and fresh happy children gathered around my legs.
Art in life.
Some days, you will find me with piles of socks and dishes and grubby sweats.
Art in process.
And so when I tear up over carpet disasters, temper tantrums, or half painted bathrooms, when I hate the process of it, I try to remember that I am working towards something beautiful, something that I catch glimpses of here and there…
What I am doing is very good, and the end result will be beautiful if I persevere…more lasting than a print or painting, farther reaching than a gallery show.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4