Saturday, September 24, 2011

Portrait of the artist as a very awkward teenager

In early September, I attended the Kaleido Festival, in north Edmonton. It's a great two-day arts festival, with everything from street vendors like moi, to stilt walkers, to acrobatic artists, to live's good fun.

When I'm at a festival, I like to make art during the quiet times. On Saturday, I was sitting at my table painting, when a shadow fell over my canvas.

"Needs more yellow," said a familiar voice.

I looked up - it was my high school art teacher, Mr. Jones! He taught me all three years, in fact, and taught me a heckuva lot about art history. Since graduating in '99, I'd hoped to run into him, so it was great to catch up. We went for a coffee a couple weeks later, and chatted about travel, art-making, and what some of my classmates were pursuing more than a decade after high school.
Naked virgin mother meets Alien King?

Anyway, this blast from the past made me think back to those important years. But, there's another side to nostalgia. As a friend of my sister's once remarked:

There are so many memories I feel awkward about.

Well said, Lauren. Me too. And lots of art I feel awkward about, let me tell you.

Every now and then, I flip through some of my old sketchbooks from that terrible era, and there's an awful lot of teen angst bleeding through the pages. I was really, really obsessed with Salvador Dali in those days, so there are plenty of melting trees, naked people missing arms and legs, and other dramas. It's awkward.

But, is it terrible? Well, not really. I had my teenage pretentious moments, but most of what I drew and painted was pretty honest and raw - I can't fault myself for that. I was just extra, super-duper passionate about art. Some of that has melted away over the years, although I still have that fire in my belly to make art.

Another weird one.
Maybe that's what the naked virgin mary drawing is all, representing that super-weird impulse to make art?

Or, maybe it was just an awkward moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment