In 1996 I visited the Oregon College of Art & Craft gallery because Shu-Ju Wang, a woman I’d worked with briefly, back when she was a software engineer and I was a technical writer, was having her first solo exhibit of drawings and mixed media work. My husband and I were anticipating the birth of our soon-to-be-son, and were in that strange, antsy, nesting-and-yet-not-nesting place that only someone who has been a prospective adoptive parent can understand. Going to Shu-Ju’s opening was a necessary distraction more than anything else. I don’t remember the actual work on display, except that it was eclectic and varied, something I always like. What I remember is that when I saw this print I knew I had to have it, before I even saw its apt title: Delirious with Anticipation. I may have asked someone at the gallery to set it aside for me before I even finished looking at the rest of the show.
I always say I can’t even draw a straight line on the computer, at which point my long-suffering artist friends remind me that making art has nothing to do with straight lines. There are lots of wildly creative people in my family and circle of friends, and I never count myself among them. Instead, the creative impulse grabs me from the outside and says: you, too, get to have this beautiful thing, this [fill-in-the-blank] with enough beauty and creativity inside of it to go around. Gorgeous wool from Uruguay, some magical-feeling notebook paper, a jar of glass beads from the neighborhood consignment shop, an amazing purse made by Judee Moonbeam, Shu-Ju’s print.
What about you? What beautiful thing has leapt onto your wall or into your life, unexpected and unbidden?