We’re Artists

On Monday evening I attended one of the first art club meetings since the start of the pandemic. The meeting was held at our nearby city park, so we had lots of fresh air, and lots of room for social distancing. We met at a shelter house close to the lake and enjoyed a bit of plein air painting and sketching. Since I’ve been practicing using graphite to quickly capture landscape scenes, I opted for a pencil and paper. One tree in particular caught my attention, so it became the center — literally — of my drawing.

Earlier this morning I added a bit of watercolor to create this image:

Since I painted over the graphite drawing, I suppose this could qualify as a “mixed media” piece. I didn’t attempt to add all the details of the landscape. I didn’t add in other trees surrounding this one or any of the landscape on the other side of the lake. I just wanted to focus on the tree and its foliage.

As I was sketching and other members were drawing and painting, a young woman strolled by. “Well, this looks like a lively group,” she called out with a bit of a laugh. Was she being derogatory? I’m not sure, but that was the impression I got. We are, after all, mostly older people. I’d guess that every member there was at least sixty with the possible exception of one woman who is probably in her fifties. So, no “spring chickens” among us, I suppose you’d say.

I think most of us gave her a rather puzzled look, and then she added, “So what do you do? Are you just nature lovers getting together?” Again, I’m not sure if she meant this to be derogatory or not, but our club president stood up then.

“We’re artists,” she said in a firm voice. “We’re here to draw and paint.”

“Oh,” said the woman. Her voice sounded a little different now, a little more interested, almost even a little more respectful. “It must be nice to be able to do that.” With that, she walked away. Did I sense a slight sadness? A smidgen of envy?

I looked down at my drawing, knowing that simple though it may be, it’s more than many people ever do, and I felt good to be there among that “lively group”, that group of “nature lovers” gathered together. At that moment, I was proud to be counted as an artist, because I am.

It was one of those rare moments when I felt I truly belonged. I was happy to be a part of our art club, happy to be sitting outside on a lovely evening, and very happy to be sketching that little tree by the lake.

I like being an artist. How about you?

7 Comments

  1. It’s part of my inner child that I want to keep.
    There are so many rules and regulations with this absurd situation that I have decided to stay outside in the parking lot with our art club, in my car if it rains, but I still want to say hi to everyone. I also did a tree on a lake’s edge. 🙂 (not posted)
    People who say they wish they could draw, etc, just don’t like it enough to keep on going until it looks more like “something”. 🙂 They could if they would.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am HR Consultant and doing well in my professional area…but from childhood I loved art and craft…I never got time to do that properly because of studies and all..and soon after study a demanding Professional life then marriage..but when I was pregnant 2.5 years before and was on my maternity leave I started doing art and craft work..I know that time it looked funny but I improved and still improving..I can frankly say that me being involved in art and craft helped me alot in overcoming PPD. Now when I am still working and with a toddler..I still try to take out sometime and do the thing I love…an Artist will be a very big word it’s kind of respect for me..but I am happy that I am in to art and craft and may be will be glad when will be called an artist before an HR professional

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your story is truly inspiring. I’m so happy that you’re doing art, and as your toddler grows, you’ll be able to find wonderful ways to share your love for art. It is a big step to call ourselves “artists”. It took me a long time to get to that point. I’ve learned that it’s not what we draw or paint that makes us a true artist. It’s our willingness to pick up a pencil or a paintbrush and dare to create. That’s what art is all about. Start seeing yourself now as someone who is “becoming an artist”. That’s how I approached it, and gradually I began to see myself as a real artist.

      Liked by 1 person

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