Art Saves • by Megan Duerksen
An Early Creative Life
I cannot remember a time in my life that did not have creating in it. My young childhood was spent drawing ballerinas in a spotlight with one leg pointed to the sky, over and over … trying to make it perfect. Then I drew evening gowns and girls with perfect up-dos in my junior high days.
My favorite subject from kindergarten through 12th grade was ART, hands down. It was the only class I did not get in trouble in—I was never sent to the principal from an art teacher. It was a place I felt good about myself, comfortable, confident, and unafraid to try.
My parents fostered a creative life for me. They encouraged drawing and creating and made big projects with my sister and me. Or they let us make messes making our own art.
Creating with my Children
I grew up, got married, and had five children but still MADE time at every stage to create. Something. Somehow. On our vacations I would bring all my scrapbooking supplies because that is how I relax—by creating.
Photography and writing out stories while layering papers and pretties was an outlet. When I was stuck in the house all winter with young children I would paint furniture … on a drop cloth in the middle of the living room floor. I learned to sew and my outlet of creativity changed shape. I began to sew using color and pattern as my guide and felt such a calm when I would create with the hum of the sewing machine alongside me. Photography was a part of my father’s creativity. When I picked up a camera I could see the light he talked about or I could see the composition he used when I looked through my lens. Using photography now is my most natural way of creating.
My children are older and I can create using paint and glue and make anything they want. They very rarely are working creatively without me doing it right alongside them … because I want to make things too! We create together.
The Beauty of Blogging
I combine photography and writing in the virtual world now instead of in scrapbooks. I blog and share my creativity digitally. And now because of that blog, I have the privilege of hosting groups of women for weekends in my home where I can encourage them to create!
I get to share my passion with women who are happy to learn to sew, try new ideas, or just need some time to be pampered. I get to make new friends with people I never would have met without my blog.
The Journey of Art
I tell myself and my children all the time, “It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to look like you thought it would. It doesn’t have to be done.” Creating is a process that will never be finished. It is a journey, a beautiful, colorful, amazingly wonderful journey. It feels like most people want to “go and do” things for fun but my idea of lovely is to “sit and make.”
Art can be anything! A photo … a flower … a painting … a story … nature—art brings joy into my life every day. Art is a way I can let the gifts that God gave me come though from deep inside. God put the desire to create in me. It’s always been there. When I MAKE time for myself to create, to see beauty around me … I can handle the hard stuff of life so much better. Art is calming. Yes … art saves.
To learn more about Megan Duerksen, visit megduerksen.typepad.com.