I always think I'm going to do all my usual studio work during the holidays. But the truth is, I don't. My mugs and vases and bowls are all sitting on studio shelves, slowly drying and waiting for me. I used to feel guilty during these non-studio periods and criticize myself for not being more efficient or dedicated to my art. I think I was wrong.
Art is a whole life experience.
Decorating my home. Baking shortbread and cherry cake. Making ornaments for the tree. These are more than just holiday activities for me, they are creative, inspiring art projects. I choose colors and work with my hands, just as I do with my studio work. And just as with my art work, the most important part is creating the work with my hands and heart.
Every year, Christmas needs adjustments.
We redecorated our great room recently with new chairs, new rug and a new sofa.Everything in the room changed for the first time in 20 years. Christmas needed some redecorating, too. It was time to blend past holiday traditions into the present and for that I definitely needed creativity.
This year, the tree fell down and old, cherished ornaments broke. Glue repaired some of them, but even the ones beyond repair, brought back many happy memories.
We've added to our family over the years. We now have another son, daughter and granddaughter. Again, creativity and art take center stage as my husband and I add stockings, ornaments and make Santa Cookies for the next generation.
Baking was one of my first creative outlets. Growing up, I was taught to make Scottish scones, shortbread and cherry cake by my Dad's mother. Although my grandmother was a strict teacher, I'm glad I learned from her skilled hands. And every year when I bake, I remember how her baking was an art in her hands.
No studio time? No regrets.
My life without art is dull indeed. But art without life is lifeless. I really believe, true art is a product of the artists' life experience. Art that's devoid of connection to the heart of the artists is not art. It's product.
My art is where my heart is right now: creating Christmas.