After hanging up from an always quirky conversation with Kem, I realized that there may be other people who actually like the beauty of snow. Snow that has freshly fallen, blanketing the world with a softness that insulates, is the snow she and I both like. Cold weather, on the other hand, according to my sweet Peyton, is for penguins. No one that I know is a penguin, which probably explains why Kem and so many others, who live in this state, do not like the cold weather, ice, or the accidents it causes.
So why are we getting so much of this, um, “wonderful stuff”? I’m certain there are many plausible causes, but I really don’t know what they are. Do you? Maybe it’s the luck of the draw? Maybe it’s the work of trolls? Is it possibly the beginning of a new ice age, or due to global warming? If it’s global warming, then we shall soon be called Alaska!
When we speak of ability and aptitude, do you know the difference? Aptitude describes the potential, not yet tapped, that can take a person to a new level and skill.
Ability is what is present here and now in a human being. Aptitude speaks of a person’s potential to perform a certain activity. I am, of course, talking about artistic ability and aptitude.
If your child can create an image in his mind and transfer it to paper, then his artistic ability is high. If you have a child who can pull apart mechanical things and put them back together, this indicated good mechanical ability. One of our sons is like this, as well as my husband, and they both shake their heads in disbelief when I do not understand how to put something together. To me, it’s very simple. I don’t understand it, nor do I want to understand it. It’s their ability and not mine. I also do not have an aptitude for it.
The reason that I brought up aptitude and ability is because I want to talk about a very special human being. I also don’t think she will be bothered by my sharing what I know about her on this public forum.
There was a class at the Danville Art League called “Late Bloomers,” which pretty much describes itself.
Wow, I completely forgot to let you know that it’s tea time!
Now, back to this amazing human being I was just beginning to tell you about. I taught this class, and she was one of the wonderful people who attended. If I remember correctly her first sentence was “I really don’t have any talent, but have always wanted to try doing something artistic.” Her ability was unknown at this point, but her aptitude was positively lighting up her whole face.
We studied some drawing, styles of art, painting, and got around to looking at the works of the Impressionist artists, such as Renoir, Mary Cassatt, Van Gogh and others. This was Darla Payne’s first dive from the artistic diving board! It was a mostly perfect attempt at painting in the Impressionists style for a beginner that many of us at the Danville Art League had ever seen.
By now, Darla is blushing, I am sure. Darla Payne started at zero, went up to first gear, then to second, got more confident and hit third speed and by fourth speed had gone from Impressionist painting to Realism. What a person can do if he or she is persistent is practice and practice, and then practice some more. Darla had aptitude. Once she signed up for a class she hit “go” and her true ability came into play. Once she began, art became something she had to keep doing. She is dedicated, and has enough self-awareness to know that art requires constant learning. Kudos to you, Darla.
The reason that I used Darla’s story about art is that, like her, there are many of you in the area who have always wanted to try “art.” YOU could be the next success! If you like the art you produce, and people enjoy your art, you’ve achieved something wonderful. Please call us, come in and try a class, and see what is possible for you. We have many classes for adults, as well as children, and would love to help you with your art goals. Having noticed that life goes pretty fast, please don’t put off something that would make you happy. Art does make you happy! We cannot wait for you to buzz our doorbell and join us. You will find part of yourself that you may have suspected always existed.
Consider this from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”:
“There is no use trying,” said Alice. “One can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Art League events
Our spaghetti dinner is over, and was quite a success. Please count on coming next year.
— Feb. 7 — Peer Court Auction. The Peer Court kids help with the maintenance of the Danville Art League. Members may donate their artwork for the auction. Anyone donating can drop off their art in the donation box in the Lemon Room at DAL.
— Feb. 15 — There will be a still-life workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., taught by John Gabb. You may use your choice of media, and bring three or fives pieces for your still life or objects will be provided. The cost is $50 if you pre-register and $55 for late registration of non-members. Lunch will be served, and is always wonderful/
— March 4-28 — Our wonderful Town and Country and Sharon Schmitz Regional Open Gallery Exhibition will be held. This is one of the most exciting events that we have and it used to be held at the Village Mall. This is something that the general public is always invited to and we want to welcome you with open arms. Bring your mother, your father, your aunt, your uncle and if you have one, your monkey’s uncle! He, too, will be welcome at this excellent exhibition. There will be children’s art, as well as the art of hard working adults to enjoy.
— March — General meeting, “Art My Way, My Inspiration”
— April7 to May 19 — The third session of the children’s art classes will begin. Please mark this on your calendar if you have children who would enjoy art classes or already attend art classes. They are most welcome.
— April — Our annual VA exhibit. Come see the wonderful works of our veterans.
— May — Gallery exhibition, “I sing the Body Electric,” will be held. This is always very interesting, and the talent is amazing.
Once more, I would like to invite you to the gallery show held during February. Our children produce some unique and wonderful art. If you have a child who would like to take art classes, please come and look at the art. You and your children will enjoy it.
The Danville Art League phone number is 442-9264. Call for any pre-registering that you have to do. Our hours are: Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, and Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6-9 p.m.
I realize I am being long-winded, but I would like to stress the fact that not only accomplished artists belong at the Danville Art League. Many start with aptitude and others start with ability. It doesn’t matter to us which you have. We will help you get to where you want to be artistically, and you will love it!
Eileen Dunavan is a member of the Danville Art League. Her column appears once a month.