Thursday, August 26, 2010


Tuesday a friend of mine who is an artist/jewelry maker/designer and a great encourager was talking about starting a blog. I told her it's easy and that I have one, then sent her the address so she could check it out. I told her I would help her set her's up. Later that day I received an email from her. She liked my blog and mentioned particularly that my writing was good and why didn't I consider writing?

Well, hmmm, yet another "validation" of my so called talents. I decided that I needed to take a look at my blog and see if I agreed with her assessment.  I think I kind of Lso I am blogging again for how ever long I feel moved.

Years ago my high school art teacher said something like " . . . art is 5% talent and 95% hard work. . ." In thinking about that now I realize that the 95% is comprised of discipline, education and consistently doing what ever it is that you want to do! It does take talent its true but you can't make it without the other 95%. The practice will do much to help me keep going and keeping going is accomplished by just DOING IT.

Learning to play an instrument, for me it was the guitar, was the doing it. Every day, working at holding those strings a little tighter, moving a little faster, stretching those fingers to cover more of the fret board and strings. I had a "talent" for playing the instrument but unless I was willing to have the discipline to work everyday I never would have made it. Playing the guitar has been a lifelong pursuit and I must say, that discipline has not been practiced and I'm pretty rusty now. Until about ten years ago I was playing regularly. There were many small victories along the way, not the lease of which was learning and being able to use bar chords. They're hard because you have to bar a fret with your index finger and then use the rest of them to hold a chord.

Me, aunt Norma and uncle Joe, circa 1980

I began with the ukulele when I was in fourth grade. Never mind that I really wanted a piano I got a uke. My mom, grandmother, great aunt and uncle all played uke's and I even took lessons. Mom was great about taking me every week to a lesson and I really enjoyed it. The family sitting around singing and playing loomed large in my upbringing. My dad played the harmonica, by ear, couldn't read a note of music. When I consider that now it's pretty amazing.  I learned to play by ear as well as follow chords for the uke and the guitar. 

The practicing I did on my first guitar was pretty painful. The guitar cost five dollars and the fret board and neck were so warped the strings sat about a half an inch off the fret board. This made for some challenging playing. Also the tuning pegs were missing so to tune the guitar took pliers. And I did all that. I think I was pretty motivated. The first month or so I gradually built up callouses which peeled and hurt and bled until they achieved the proper tempering.

The sixties was a good time to play the guitar. Folk music was in it's heyday and hootnanys abounded especially when I was at college in sixty-two and three.  I had a good voice and often sang  500 miles in the Mary Travers style. Joan Baez had produced a record of many of the Child's Ballads which were also favorites of mine. Endless verses of the travails of time. These ballads became the backbone of many of the folk ballads of the time.

Then . . . I met a man/guy and fell in love. Trouble was, he could play any instrument with very little effort. I was very intimidated and didn't really play at all during the five years we were together. I hated him for that and myself for allowing that to happen. I lost a lot of joy during that time. Then . . . he went his way and me and my guitar went another, re-reunited once again we began a tender, and tenuous relationship, and I found my voice.

The guitar became my entre to lots of growing experiences which I won't go into at this time. Maybe in the future. But, music had once again become primary in my life.

All this is a long way around to talk about doing and discipline but it is a fact, without those I would not have had as satisfying a life as I have.

The take away? Apply myself, practice, write, quilt, make jewelry, any of those things that help my creativity to grow and blossom. At this time, my guitar is in the closet and has been since we moved here three years ago. I need to get re-acquainted with my instrument. Whether it is in music, quilting, jewelry making or writing. It's time to get to "work" again on those sustaining activities that I've set aside.

More to come for sure but right now . . . . my creativity is calling me.


The Bead Gypsy said...

Yes, get to "work" girl! You have so much love and talent to share :-) Thank you for always being there for me, as well. You are inspiring, as usual!

Rose Lefebvre said...

YEA! I am glad you are writing on your blog again!!!

sooz weissberg said...

Yes, anything worth learning does take practice. And it takes one more thing: letting go of the judgment of yourself. Enjoy the process, whatever the experience is. Take your mind off the "result" or "product" and ENJOY the moments of doing it. Or find the way that will make it enjoyable. IMHO, it's those "results" -- the unexpected ones -- which show our true talents.