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The temperament of an artist

Mood swings do not come from just chemically imbalanced people. Just live with an artist for a few weeks, you’ll see what I mean. Artists are healthy and well, they just live life out of the right side of the brain and in another world.

Al and I had the privilege of living in the home of our children and grandchildren for a short time. Just being with family is a privilege, but being with artistic grandchildren is a greater privilege.

Self-revelation and an opportunity to understand who I am hit me square in the face. Also, seeing the influences I have had on our children and grandchildren is an eye-opener. I’ve experienced both. The apple does not fall far from the tree. They are very like me with all my warts.

It seems to me certain gifts flow through the genes of a family. It certainly does in ours. Two sides of artistic grandparents have funneled their temperaments into these two grandchildren. The volume is turned up in one of our grandchildren and he sucks up the room. In the other, the volume is turned down and she lives in deep contemplation. Both are exactly in their element, they are artists, they cannot help themselves.

The creativity just oozes from our two grandchildren and I am amazed. Our 18-year-old grand daughter has a sharp eye for balance, color and design; a keen ear for writing music and playing musical instruments and sees things in frames artistically making her an excellent photographer. She draws, paints, and works with clay, and creates from a deep place from within herself. Her volume is turned down very low. She is sensitive to every thing around her.

Her bedroom, turned studio is a portrait of herself, and when you enter, you are touching her soul. It is a cameo of vignettes, a thumb nail sketch of her life in poetry, pictures and song. This is her room. When she contemplates, she closes herself in and away from the world. Even a knock on her door is an intrusion and an interruption if she is creating or playing her piano.

She is very uncomfortable with any attention given to her. Laid back until inspired, she listens only to her own creativity. She doesn’t share her art until it is finished and until she is satisfied with it. She has so much talent you want to light a fire under her. You could call her moody, with drawn or touchy, but call her an artist.

Our 14-year-old grandson is from the opposite end of the spectrum. He makes videos with all the bells and whistles. He has the unique gift for putting music to each frame, editing, directing, overlaying and the list goes on and on. He will listen to ideas but he has his own ideas.

I am his biggest fan, not because I am his grandmother, but as an artist I can see how his artistic ability and his understanding for technology work together and is unique. His production company, Bullet-Proof Bacon, aka BPB, seen on Face Book has produced three videos to date and he is working on a fourth. The theme for his videos is based on skate boarding techniques and of course, crashes. Along with a logo, T-shirts, designed DVD jackets, he has put together a whole presentation. With his camera and the computer, he is doing what he enjoys doing, creating.

With his lightning rod personality he draws out the party, makes it happen around him. He lives on the outside of himself, much different than his older sister. He needs affirmation constantly. “Do you like my hair? Do you like my shoes? Do you like my videos? When are you going to write an article about me? Will it be in the newspaper? Come see my video I’m working on. Do you like it?

You could call him annoying, but you must call him an artist. He is also a part of my world, the world of art.

So how do we fan the talent in our grandchildren and children? I am so thankful I can understand them or I could easily read them wrong. They are not at all disrespectful, but just who they are. Artists!

First, I believe they need space to breathe creatively; secondly, give your ideas to them with an open hand and let them decide how they want to use your ideas; keep an open mind with their temperament; encourage them; and fifthly, love them to completion.

Final brushstroke: Give permission to others to be themselves and give yourself the same permission.

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bettyslade@centurytel.net with your comments.

Artist Quote

“If you treat an individual … as if he were what he ought to be, and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.