Friday, December 22, 2017

Using your "Voice".... "Make a joyful noise..." - Part One

While my post title here suggests a speaking or singing voice, I am alluding to a deep and abiding belief that one's "voice" and choice of self-expression can reveal itself in a multitude of very different forms. None of these forms merits the distinction of being more valid than any of the others. All share a common proclivity to seek and strive for perfection and individuality.

Though all of these indicate the presence of a special gift... all demand sacrifice and commitments that stretch across an entire life time of practice and dedication. As Emile Zola aptly put it:

The artist is nothing without the gift. But the gift is nothing without the work."

On many occasions, an artist's "gift" bridges more than one medium or interest. Each medium can reveal a distinctly unique and different "voice". Often the gift is manifest and obvious at a very young age. Having spent my entire working life educating elementary aged children, I have been privileged to discover, mentor and share the artistic path with a number of gifted students in a variety of areas of excellence along the way.

I am very proud to count all of my own children amongst those and do so...  not because they are my children or my artistic "seed"... but rather because they responded to the consistent encouragement we offered each of them to dream and to live out their own dreams. On many occasions, they were thrown in with my class charges to dream together. Some of those early friendships have survived the test of time and were revisited and conjoined at Allison's Celebration of Life event.

How cathartic their embraces were to us at this very dark moment in our current lives! The Universe has indeed conspoired to offer many welcome surprises that defy serendipity as the lone cause. I would like to share one such "visitation" (for the lack of a better word). It came if the form of a series of emails that came to me from one of my "summer painting friends" over the past three years. I choose not to fill the space in this post with my words. I choose to tell the tale using collected digital files that better record events. Her presence and voice(s) speak so eloquently for "Her".

Enter Hana!

This is my young Friend Hana

Painting with me in our garden in tempera as a birthday gift from Gramma (12 years)

                                                       Hana painting in oils two years later

Hana... transformed today ... into a beautiful butterfly with a new "voice" in grade nine this year. What else need be said? The gifts... the work and "beauty... inside and out"... in her Gramma's proud words... We are blessed!

I think that feeling to be true... and "knew it" when first we met!
Hana's song... and musical accompaniment. Where does this gift come from?... and where will it take her???

I wonder...

Good luck Sweet Girl!

Moonlit - Hana.mp3

Stay tuned for Part Two.....