I came in to this highly esteemed university with my portfolio, marched into the head of the art department’s office, and fully expected him to be as impressed as my family & friends were. I mean, hadn’t everybody praised my art to the skies when I posted it to facebook?
Then the very kind department head said that I definitely had something to build on, and generally treated me much more kindly than I deserved. My first formal training in art began, and I floundered in the new methods and tried not to scoff at drawing boxes and spheres. Deep down, I admitted that I wasn’t really very good at doing this by their methods- but after all, I really am a phenomenon, aren’t I?
When I started to throw off the ropes & life preservers of careful tightness in my art, when I got rid of my measuring ruler and my reference photos and only drew from life, everything changed. I felt the thrill of correct proportions and accurate values… knowing where the features go… memorizing the skeleton and the muscles with my humble pencil… and I thought, I really don’t know anything after all, but I will never stop learning.
Certain people in my life keep reminding me that the next semester is bearing down on me like a tornado. I wonder… when will I stop counting out my life in semesters? Right now my future looks exactly like this: semester, summer work, semester, winter work, semester, summer work, semester, winter work, semester. After that fateful last semester, all is question marks and hope and dreams. I get a kick out of people who ask me what I’m going to do with my studio art major, because I don’t know either. All I know is that God wants me to be an artist. I also know that He has my life all mapped out, down to the last destination. No worries.
“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.”
Today I discovered for myself why people always use the overworked illustration of the potter and the clay. I’m the type of person that avoids cliches like the plague, but I couldn’t help getting a personal viewpoint on the issue as I work the clay in the ceramics lab. It has never been this clear before. Am I really like that stupid clay that wobbles and shudders and squishes and won’t stay in the center? Ninety nine times out of a hundred, I get angry and throw it out.
“And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”
He is the Potter, and you are the clay. So, please hear the short moral of my torturous night wrestling with clay — don’t struggle against His work in your life unless you want to bring yourself more trouble and pain.
“O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”
Every Monday, I dress in jeans and a tshirt and I play with mud for two hours. I also drink coffee, black, with sugar… only the teacher doesn’t have spoons, so all the sugar sinks to the bottom and I get it all at once. Never again will I drink black coffee again without thinking of that classroom and the dusty smell and the slippery, gritty clay, and the funky mugs that I handle with muddy fingers. Last week our teacher ran home and got his bodum coffee press and starbucks coffee, and made it for whoever wanted some. That was even better! I’m getting to like guys that carry starbucks coffee mugs, and wear leather, and have clean hands… even wearing loafers and knowing stuff about making ceramics is ok by me, but I absolutely draw the line at guys who wear pink, use umbrellas, and drink tea. So there.