Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Never Did

"Jack and the Beanstalk" was painted

at girl's college when we were asked to draw/paint

fairy tale characters. From memory I was

13 or 14, and "never did" means I

wasn't honouring what I could do.

This pic is among others that have been

kept by me, in spite of denial. I

have recently taken them all out

and documented them. It's not

the best pic in the world, but it's

certainly not the worst. For me, the

impression I got was that it was never

good enough, even though this one

was marked well. In an old sketchbook

from the same period I wrote "I can't

draw" and I guess that was what

made the thought a reality. We all

used to downplay our natural abilities,

except in sports, like netball during which we were

allowed to win, and while I always

remained "creative" in other ways,

I never saw myself as an artist in any way --

others were always deemed better than me,

or I was never good enough at it, for

it to be worthwhile. So now I

ought to say "I did" rather than put

a value on it. Now the world says: "Doing

is Understanding", and to whatever

degree anything is done, it matters not.

The doing alone provides the

understanding, and the impressions

of the world change like the shifting sands,

unable to be relied upon for

consistency. So it is the "doing", just for

the sake of expression that is important,

not the "loaded" expectation... The teacher

simply provided the seed and the painting

was done, according to my own

impressions, and only now I can see that,

only here, now...

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.


At 6:53 AM, Blogger Vi Jones said...

My dear, never underestimate yourself or your talent. I know as kids we were taught that we were never good enough ... I was at anyrate ... Pride is evil, I was taught. Well, pride in one's accomplishments is not evil, no matter how simple the task. You have talent. I have seen it and I admire you for it.


At 1:50 PM, Blogger Karen said...

done and done well!

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

I don't know if the two of you can imagine how important it is to hear your response. I wrote this out of frustration, and Vi, it must have been difficult to undo the conundrum of pride. I see we all have something we are wrestling. Perhaps we are unravelling it all now, together, and I am so glad to hear your comments, Vi and Karen. Thank you:-)

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Heather Blakey said...

You know I held my breath when I first uploaded my sketches of Duwamish and actually let people see them. My sketches will not be likely to replace Leonardo's work but doing them has given me a remarkable sense of peace at a time when my life is in turmoil.

Personally I love your Jack and the Beanstalk image and find it does fit in with the whole notion of planting seeds. We need to see more of this work Monika.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...

I nearly couldn't post this. Yet when I did I thought, why did I wait so long? Residual anger came up. Now I think, Heather, that the price would have been too high if I had not. I don't know what we would have done without your pics to show the way around the realm. I think Vi's comment about pride and not indulging in it at all, is very true from the past. I had a shiver when I read her words. There is such a fine line. Yes, I shall work on this more, Heather:-)- I didn't realise the connection until now I was so jumbled.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Heather Blakey said...

Ah now I came very close to not posting those sketches Monika - seem so amateurish alongside the work of professionals and so on. But sketching was very important. It was important for me to do something I did not do with ease. Writing always came easily, yet I find I can say so much more with my sketches. While they may have flaws and the critics would not rave I am proud of them and you should be very proud of your work too.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Imogen Crest said...



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