Coining a new term, this Empress considers herself “art adjacent” as she tackles painting in all it’s glory–& gory!
I love art. I am also exceedingly bad at it.
Please don’t get me wrong: I don’t consider myself to be lacking in creative talent. I like to think I have a knack with words, that I can draw an image to mind with some carefully chosen phrases. I just can’t draw. Or paint. Or almost any art form outside of the literary. Though perhaps it might be accurate to say that while I can do all of those things, I really cannot do them well.
Fortunately for me, I am surrounded by other talented makers of art. A few of my close friends are exceptional artists, including my best friend, whose main medium for artistic expression these days is flowers. The painting gene must have skipped a generation, because my dad makes gorgeous landscapes with brushes and a set of acrylics. I, on the other hand, had fun trying a Bob Ross episode on Netflix. The results speak for themselves.
I attempted one of Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting episodes. I did not start with the basics. I mixed up my colours. I did not know I would need paint thinner until well after I started. One of these things is a pastel seascape. And other one is… something.
My own lack of skill hasn’t meant I can’t enjoy art, or even participate in artistic endeavours. I can be art adjacent; that is, what I produce myself may not be art, but that isn’t going to stop me. I just had to find new ways to contribute to and support art and artists.
This past month, I started by volunteering for the Alt V-Day dance, thrown by the NWT [North West Territories] Creative Collective. I may not be able to design the concept for the space, but I could help execute the idea with those that turned an Elk’s Lodge into an Underwater Delight.
“Shell-come” to this year’s Alt V-Day Dance! I made excellent work of streamer seaweed and blew up balloon “bubbles” like a champ.
I also bought a ticket for the local Art Battle even though I mostly prefer to stay at home like a hobbit. But my friend Robyn and my best friend Sarah were chosen to compete in the live painting event. So the ticket was purchased and the event watched and enjoyed. I even helped Sarah prepare by throwing a mini battle between the two of us. What I painted was not good, but I had fun.
The point of art may be to communicate an idea or create a sense of beauty. The point of being art adjacent, however, is to have fun. At least it is for me. So if you can’t art, do it anyway. You might find a corner nearby that suits you just fine.
Images from the Art Battle and my mini “art battle”. Top row, left to right: Sarah finishing her nude; Sarah Kalnay-Watson battling; Robyn Scott painting her Red Dress art to bring attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women. Bottom row, left to right: Sarah poses with her practice painting; competitor Jen Walden painted Robyn in the live battle; Robyn paints in the final with no idea she’s being painted; my own little art battle painting.
*Main photo by Andrian Valeanu on Unsplash