Contributed by April Blogger of the Month, Letty Watt
Walking down the sidewalk as a child often tweaked my imagination. One time I saw bullet holes all across the front a house. I ran home and told my parents that somebody had been shot. To my dismay that was not the truth. The truth, as my mother pointed out to me when we stood in front of house, was that those places that looked like holes were nothing more than dirt and mud splashed on the house probably by some ornery boys. How disappointing for me, for my mind, I had created another picture. To this day, when I see a Jackson Pollock canvas I think of those mud splats on the white framed house, where I mentally created a colorful story out of chaos.
As I matured, my eyes still saw things that others might have missed, and I began to think of these pieces as mindful art. When I was a single parent my daughter and I put thousands of miles on our little green Toyota driving from Western Kansas to anywhere. We chased a rainbow one day for miles out of our way, just to see where it ended. We drove by an old brick factory in SE Kansas. Pulling off the side of the road, I drew the smokestacks, some still tall and stately while others stood broken with bricks askew in nearly every scene. Our fascination with trees added more designs to my mind. From those drawings I created macramé hangings using those geometric and textural organic designs. My husband and I drove through Biloxi, Mississippi a few years after Katrina. Our hearts were saddened by the depth of destruction, then out of nowhere “art” appeared in damaged trees. How remarkable to view this beauty in nature thanks to mankind.
Traveling offers so many unique opportunities to see and imagine art in various forms. A trip to Marble Head, Mass opened my mind to beauty of brightly painted front doors. Originally, or so the lore of the ocean tells me, when ships wrecked at sea the people of the shore would take what remains they could and put them to use in their homes. Consequently, homes along the ocean’s edge were often decorated uniquely as people found a way to bring art into their homes. Recently, while walking the streets of Santa Fe I discovered many painted doors, and my mind gleefully recalled other memories of vibrant colors, unusual structures, or distorted shapes carved into art.
Through Facebook and Instagram I’ve discovered that I’m not alone in creating mindful art, others see art in unique places like I do. Susan Dragoo takes professional photos of her hikes and travels, and shares them on Instagram. With her permission I’m posting one of her photos from a recent trip to Duncan. Looking at the shapes, colors, textures, makes me want to peel the paint and see what is hiding or ponder questions like: What has this truck seen or done? Where are the children who rode in the flatbed? Playing with ideas and questions creates a curious playground in my mind. It enlightens me, and keeps me ever mindful of art.
Writing soothes my soul and clears my mind. I began writing my weekly blog, Literally Letty, with the purpose of building a repertoire of stories for telling aloud, and experimenting with style. Now I write because stories, hidden in the recesses of my mind, are begging to be shared.