Sunday, September 28, 2008

walking in an artist's shoes

Today after church, I decided to head into downtown Matthews to try out Dilworth's, a local coffee shop that my friend told me about. When I got there, I realized that they were closed but near the town hall library, there were a bunch of white tents with people milling around. Curious, I decided to wander over to see what kind of festival was going on. Apparantly, there was an art show this weekend. Local craftsmen brought their work to sell, and I couldn't wait to walk around and see what people had created. It was beautiful, amazing. One tent held the most beautiful watercolor paintings of different flowers. One painting in particular was an old shoe housing a bouquet of purple flowers (i think they were violets?). Her husband, the agent, told me how different friends would bring over flowers for her to paint. Eventually, the artist joined her husband and talked about how hard it was to sell art during such an economic low. After talking with them for a bit, I strolled over to a tent with such incredible pottery. The potter explained different techniques of making sure the clay was mature and the perfect consistency. He explained that he even used guitar strings to cut into his pottery to carve different designs. His dyes even included cobalt, this beautiful blue. I think I liked talking with him the most because when he discussed pottery, his whole body shifted. His hands became animated, his back straightened, and he looked me directly in the eye. I could tell how passionate he was about creating something with his hands. My mind drifted to the time I visited an Ecuadorian family that made pottery for a living. The father let me try to throw a pot on the wheel, and it came out terrible. I couldn't seem to center the clay right, and the pot was this squished blob of clay that kept spinning around and around. I remember having such an appreciation, an admiration, for people who can create pottery. Or, people who can create an image just out of a paintbrush or piece of charcol. To be able to see a block of wood and know exactly which pieces to carve out so it transforms into an animal. I love art. But even more, I love seeing the artist create something. It's like gazing into a window of their soul. It was a lovely day.

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