I have learned the critical role an art accountability partner can play. I don’t why it is the case, but often I can find every excuse to not do what I love to do…make art. Often, it seems I just can’t give myself the permission to step out of the day’s “responsible” duties to respond to the call of stepping into my studio. I suppose that is why God sent me some assistance in this department.
The last conversation with my accountability partner went something like this:
Partner: ” Are you going to go make art now?”
Me: “No, not now…I have some other things I need to be doing.”
Partner: “Well, you NEED to make art because you are an artist.”
Me: “What makes ME an artist?”
Partner: “You do nice art…and EVERYONE likes your paintings.”
Now, while that last line is a little over exaggerated (though I wish it true), what else would you expect from a 5 year old. Yes, my most devoted accountability comes from my preschool age son. He can be quite persistent, following me around the house as I make the beds, wash the dishes, and piddle around. But for him, I just never have an excuse good enough, because what 5 year old would prioritize a perfectly made bed and nicely folded laundry over getting to make art? Little does he know how much I need him bugging me in this department.
Being my first child, he was the original reason why I couldn’t justify slipping away to my studio as much anymore. There just wasn’t time, I thought, because there was a baby to care for. But now, my son has grown up enough to observe that art is a part of my life, of who God made me to be, even speaking it back to me so factually:
“Mom, YOU are an artist.”
Out of the mouth of babes, can come the encouragement of God. So, there has evolved a notable transition from why I shouldn’t make art to why I should, and oddly enough, my son plays a part in both.
He has wooed me into the studio three afternoons this week. Sometimes, even beating me to it with little concern that he was still in his pajamas, having jumped out of the bed only to head straight to his art desk. And, why would I ever stop him? Because, really, I would dream of doing exactly the same thing.
So that permission I have been waiting for, that I rarely seem able to give myself, now comes unhindered through my son. And, God graciously reminds me of who I am through the people who know me best.