I noticed some single paper napkins and wire in the drawer and before I knew it, I was playing with them.  When I cut, folded and wound the wires together to make the head, body and then the arms, I thought the proportions were just fine.  But after winding the paper napkins around the wire form, I realized that they were anything but ‘just fine.’  I hoped that when I added the paper napkin skirts, the result would magically be artistic.  But they weren’t well done.  They weren’t proportionate to the human form.  They weren’t “pretty” or beautiful or artistic.

Then came another question “Did you have fun making them?”  As I lined them up to take their photo, a smile came on my face.  My answer was clear … “Yes!   I had a lot of fun” … and I realized that I liked them.  While they didn’t come up to the standards of what I understood to be ‘art’, I acknowledged that, in their own way, they were ‘artistic creations.’

With that realization, came another of life’s lessons … the act of creating, in and of itself, is the art.  So what if the result isn’t lovely or good or well-proportioned or pretty or …?

Picasso once wrote that the idea of ‘pretty’ can limit what art is. “Art is the story of us and our experiences, knowledge, beliefs and ways. We as humans are not necessarily pretty pictures. We are life and all its expressions. Art can be confrontational as well as comforting. There is a means in our stories that convey our truth, but they aren’t always beautiful, are not always pretty.”

My dancing ladies aren’t pretty.  But they’re unique and I had fun making them … artistic creations … art!

It’s been a good experience … the creation … the questions … the sorting-it-all-out-through-the-responses.

And now, it’s time to attach the pink dancer to the wedding card for my friends’ wedding and never forget The Dancers’ Lesson.


© June Maffin
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