By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
January 8, 2015
The first week of the year has come and gone and by now we have all gone back to our offices to start the new work year, as well. It’s a bit bittersweet, but it’s time for the Christmas decorations to be put away until next year. The changing of the season makes the walls look bare, though. They almost beg for photos, paintings, or some other decoration to fill up the space. And the new year presents a perfect opportunity to make changes in home decor.
I’m an artist at heart. Ever since I was a kid, I would doodle on drawing pads, or play with the pigments found in the acrylic painting kits sold at arts and crafts stores. Eventually, I turned that love of creating something with my hands into my major field of study at college. I explored everything I could: drawing, printmaking, ceramics, photography, painting, metal sculpture. The more paint, or charcoal dust, or mud that ruined my wardrobe, the happier I was.
Like most people, real world responsibilities have meant that I haven’t been able to devote as much time to creative pursuits as I’d like. But similar to my resolution to become more fit this year, I’ve also made a resolution to pursue those things I’m passionate about by taking up new art projects. Currently, I’m trying to teach myself how to paint in watercolor using some of my nature photography as reference. I’m also in the middle of a cross stitching project, which is a skill I taught myself last summer.
It’s a very particular joy to watch an idea from your imagination come to fruition in tangible form, to suddenly have something that can serve as a centerpiece on your dinner table, or can be hung in a place of honor in your home. And one thing you learn during the process of creating a piece of art is how to appreciate the end result of someone else’s creation.
When you see someone else’s artwork you can put yourself in their shoes. You can imagine the hours they must have spent worrying over the details, or how the end product may have changed from concept to completion because you have experienced it yourself. Indeed, that sense of empathy is exactly what draws me to seek out artists within the communities I’ve lived in and what drives me to collect local pieces.
The Laguna Madre area is unique in that it is home to many artists whose talents are readily found throughout the region. This month, in particular, will be an art lover’s dream. Several artists from the Laguna Madre Arts League will be on hand during Market Days from Jan. 16 – 18 offering pieces from paintings to sculpture. Folks hoping to add to their own collections will surely find something to suit their style. I definitely plan on adding to mine. So come on out and be sure to visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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