Paint By Numbers:
(Click for Audio) There are some in my family that are very artistic. Freehand sketches and drawings, along with color coordination and application to make the result look real, or at least something you want to save. Better quality than something you would hang on a refrigerator door at the end of a school day. I’m just saying, I know folks who do a beautiful job with their craft, and some of it is framed in my domicile.
But this does not include me.
One person says I’m too “left brained” and have no artistic flair. Perhaps that’s true. On the other hand I think it’s simply that I never perfected the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the creation of “things”. Somewhere around here are samples of what I did in grade school, and it’s better left to being “somewhere around here”! There’s nothing to brag on here! Just saying. I would much rather read a book than create something called Art! If the book were a mystery, then I would work ahead in my mind with the clues provided. It was a joy figuring out the punch line…and that was the focus of my artistic flair!
I was entering the 8th grade and trying out for basketball, one summer. The doctor discovered a hernia, and suddenly I’m bound to being a homebody for 6 more weeks…after spending nearly a week in the hospital bed. This was back during the days of old time surgery techniques. Not the in-n-out routine of modern times. I got some nice gifts from family and friends, things to fill my day with while recuperating.
Distinctly, I remember a “Paint by Number” set. Suddenly, I’m unsure what to call it. A Box? A Hobby? A Disaster? The end result looked nothing like the picture on the box, and I grew weary looking for all the little shapes with a certain number that matched to a certain color. You had to prep your work area, and then clean everything up afterwards…I remember it being a chore un-enjoyed. Perhaps it was simply the subject matter?
It’s like putting together a model car. Follow the instructions in a defined order, and my ending vehicle never looked like the picture on the box! Glue. Paint. Broken pieces. Maybe that’s why we enjoyed some brief moments of pyrotechnics as we rolled a model down the hill, burning match glued to the bumper, and a little cup of flammable liquid at the bottom! Of course, no parents were harmed in the fun of this destruction!
I’ve determined that even a Paint By Numbers kit needs a “flair” of artistic ability, just like the model, to make the final product match the creators thought! And I certainly do not claim this skill one iota!
Abolish the thought that I cannot follow instructions, for I can. And I do it very well all the time, just not on every thing before me. I’ve learned that there is a fluidity to my thought, action and reaction. You know, multitasking, daydreaming down rabbit trails, and mentally working on my others important tasks of the day, just to limit myself to following the instructions set before me.
Yet, when I devote my attention to something, then nothing else will shatter my focus. It’s just trying to find something to focus my attention on! In today’s alphabet world, there would probably be a coded set of letters that would pigeon hole me into a certain identifiable personality. I reject that. It seems we want to control by letters and drugs, instead of learning how to channel the natural ability of a person. My son’s teacher recognized his writing skill and just simply let him write in class instead of trying to focus him down a certain path of work that would not be challenging – what happened? Well, he’s a published author with a lot of zeal for the craft! Check out Jason Gurley.
One more example. It’s like assembling a puzzle. When I was younger I did not have the patience, nor eye, for the small scale work to create a larger end product. Today, my mind works through this exercise and it’s a pleasant past time. A cup of coffee, a little music and conversation, and an afternoon spent in the pleasure of tasks and company.
Maybe it’s an aging thing. The older I get the more interested I am in things I would have once rejected. IDK. Maybe, just maybe, well, maybe not. I was thinking I should get one of those adult “coloring” books that seem to be the rage these days. It better be something I want to frame afterwards, or I’m sure it will become another chore… But wait, I do need some fire starters for the winter!