Does Our Art Have Meaning? Reasons to do what we do.

Did you know Steve Terry?

He wrote a book on financial planning.

He designed a golf course.

He designed thousands of brochures, presentation materials, and marketing materials.

He used his creativity in business as an entrepreneur and to improve processes.

Do you know the artist Evelyn Hall?

She was a painter.

She traveled around the mid-west attending art shows.

You could often find her in Chicago at a local art fair.

Every Christmas she participated in a local art fair.  Participants opened their homes, and displayed their art for viewing and sale.

She also crocheted doll clothes.  She put her heart into her art.

Did you know Olive?

Olive was a baking artist.

Her Kitchen Aid mixer was an extension of her hands.

She created dishes for every occasion.

Without hesitation she knew just the dish to make.

Cooking was the way she showed people she loved them.

She baked like we breath.  It’s what she did.

She had a garden, sewed, crafted and decorated her home.

Her family was her audience.

Steve was my father.  He was a creative genius, yet I am pretty sure you never read his book, golfed at his golf course, or appreciated his marketing skills.  If you lived nearby though, you might have frequented his business, or been helped through his golf lessons.

Evelyn was my grandmother.  Her art isn’t  in museums, but it is in many homes.  Evelyn used her art as a way to connect with people.  She loved showing off her art as much as she loved meeting new people.  Her way of connecting with and loving people stands out in my mind as much as her skill as an artist.

When I think of grandma I think of her art room, upstairs in her country home.  Her home was situated on their 400 acres in Northern Indiana.  Evelyn was a farmers wife.  My grandfather was a full time farmer and school bus driver.  They had chickens, cows, rabbits, horses, and you name it.  After she was finished raising her children, she began her art career.  A career that was as much about who she was as her children.

Olive was my great grandmother.  She never had a website, Pinterest page, or published cookbook, but she touched the lives of her family and the community.  I can still smell her garden fresh green beans after she cooked them in her pressure cooker.  I can picture a nice ham, rolls, and pie to compliment them, and of course sweet tea.  Her art was something that touched your heart, and is something that lasts today in everyone she touched.

The question came to my mind this morning.  Does the expression of my art mean anything?  What if I spend all this time and it doesn’t become anything?  I mean why am I doing this?

Why do I plan and make efforts to build this blog?

Why do I study and try to learn?

Will the ideas I have become anything?

What if I write like dad did, and it isn’t successful?

Should I still do it?

Dad was dad because he was creative.  I am proud of his creativity, even if you were never able to appreciate it.

Evelyn was a reputable artist.  It was a part of who she was.  If you took her art away you took away a big part of who she was.  If you took her art away you took away the opportunity for her to connect with people and make an impact in their lives.

You couldn’t take anything away from Olive Eager.  She never equated being known for what you do with success.  She was who she was and she did what she did.  That’s it.  Doing what you do in your sphere of life is where it’s important to succeed first.  What’s the world knowing have to do with it.

If these amazing people have taught me anything, it’s that I should seek to succeed and impact people’s lives in my sphere of influence first.  I need to express what is a part of me.  To do anything less is failure.  It’s not just about being known, it’s about expressing what is inside of you, and using that to make peoples lives better.

Having said that there is still no reason we shouldn’t set goals and try to achieve them.  Some people are happy cooking for their family, some people want to publish a cook book.  Some people are happy going to art fairs, and others want their art to be known around the world.

Set goals based on who you are and what you want to do and then put in the hard work and commitment to accomplish them. It’s about expressing yourself in your art, and accomplishing your goals.  Let’s make an impact like Steve, Evelyn and Olive did and an example for others to follow.

Marcy Pedersen

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