Saturday, August 25, 2007

ART Freedom, Joy, and Happiness

This week has been a bummer in some ways. As stated previously, I went back to work, teaching. This is such a sticky wicket. I love JUST being an artist, but the Universe has shown me over and over and over again that I need to be teaching. I am a gifted teacher. After about life lesson # 3489, I finally got that. Even this week, there were moments that I saw that look in the face of my students. Not only did they “get it”, but they beamed with the joy of feeling the self esteem related to being smarter! Meanwhile, I am sitting here on Saturday morning feeling like a half dead fruit rat that has been beaten with a broomstick. Teaching takes so much out of me. It isn’t just the students and the energy to teach them that is so difficult. It is the emotional stress of dealing with the bureaucratic catch-22s, which makes doing a great job almost impossible. I feel drained. No in fact, I feel like I have experienced rounds of shock treatment every day this week. I can’t live like this.
Speaking of intent (last post and comments), I just have to figure out what I DO WANT to do with the rest of my life. I think I am in a rut. I thought of putting a big, piece of butcher paper up on my living room wall and start to list the great things in my life and the things I want to leave behind. It is funny because there seems to be no gray areas. There are things in my life that are either truly wondrous or terrifically crappy. This paper chart can be my DREAMS chart. I don’t have any true solid dreams or aspirations at this moment. That’s TERRIBLE! Also, it is such an awful feeling to have.
This brings me to a memory of “Tracy Dancing”. I knew an artist years ago named Tracy. She was vibrant, kind of ditzy, yet brilliant in her own way. She had the gift of happiness. When you saw her, she exuded resilience and you could see the joy in her face. She was a FREE SPIRIT. She dressed kind of artsy wacky. Her hair was Bozo orange before it was commonplace. She dressed in vintage clothes that never fit her. Yet, she was a beauty. One time I was at “Dally in the Alley”, an annual art festival in Detroit. As I peered through the crowd, I saw Tracy dancing under a streetlight. Her glowing lavender and blue gown was wildly swinging in the breeze, her orange hair was beaming bright, and her face was an illustration of freedom, joy, and happiness. I went back to my studio and made the sculpture shown below to commemorate that vision. I am remembering this right now because that is what I really want in my art life. I want to FEEL freedom, joy, and happiness. Now I just have to figure out how to capture it.

”Tracy Dancing”
Acrylic / Wood / Mixed Media>


self taught artist said...

I like your mixed media piece, moreso because it was created with your friend in mind, capturing her spirit. It's very cool.

gilda said...

I remember Tracy, too, Sheree.....her name was Tracy Deming, and she made mixed media assemblages that were both fragile and strong.

Sheree Rensel said...

Self Taught:
Thanks for the compliment! Your words made me realize something. Back in that era of my art, I did that a lot. I never thought about it until now, but many of my mixed media pieces represented the people in my life at that time. Thanks for the insight!!

YEP! I was talking about Tracy Deming! You are one of few people who would have realized that!
This post is an example of how all of us make impressions on people as they come in and out of each others lives. I haven't seen Tracy in almost twenty years. Yet I still remember her and her wonderful spirit.

P.S. Gilda, did you notice "Self Taught"s photo icon. That reminds me of your photo you used of yourself with the camera in front of your face. Remember that? In fact, each time I see "Self Taught"s icon on this blog, I IMMEDIATELY think GILDA. LOL LOL LOL


Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.Keep it up!