It Is • by Jeannine Peregrine
It’s a box of crayons, a stack of construction paper, and a bottle of Elmer’s white glue. It’s a tiny watercolor paint set with primary colors to mix into rainbows, and the 2nd place ribbon for the St. Patrick’s Day poster contest at Hickory Elementary School.
It’s painting ceramics, and batik, and pounding on copper to make belt buckles, weaving dream catchers, and meeting Mr. Scribble who transforms a scribble I’ve drawn on a piece of paper into a cartoon that looks like me.
It’s bumping against that word “Artist” for the first time and “knowing” I’m not one because I can’t draw the apple on the table, or my sister’s hand, or the family cat in any realistic way, and so I walk away from art as an elective in high school ... but it wends its way into a flurry of notes written to friends, and poems scribbled in chemistry class, and doodles in yearbooks and painted posters for the football players to crash through on Friday night games in fall.
It’s a rubber stamp and another and another and paper besides, and coming home after the 9-to-5 job and creating until sleep insists I stop. The stamps adorn an envelope, which is chosen off a table by a Marine serving in Somalia and so then, these stamps, lead me to the man I marry.
Collage and art journals catch me when the stamps lose their magic after the towers collapse, and so it is images and matte medium and paint and books and a blog, all filled with Wordsworth’s “breathings of my heart.”
It’s drawing again and knowing it doesn’t matter if I can’t draw the apple on the table, or my sister’s hand, or the family cat in a hyper realistic way; it’s understanding that the word “Artist” encompasses so much more than that.
It’s my calling card and icebreaker.
It’s people and places and experiences.
It’s toughened me up and opened me up and softened me up all at the same time.
It’s the truest thing I do.
The links in the chain of the charm bracelet of my life.
To learn more about Jeannine Peregrine, visit myfourrooms.blogspot.com.