By Gasia Karakesis
I love art. However, I was so careless I could not even finish a dumb owl.
Art has been a passion of mine for my entire life. I loved creating art as a child, and I love creating art even more now. I used to throw paint on a 2D or 3D surface using a stick with bristles and called it art. My favorite thing about art as a child was getting messy. My mom told me that one time when I was around 5 or 6, she left me alone in her office while I was coloring for a few minutes. She came back and I was completely covered in marker. I thought art was only about the colors and the messiness and fun creating it. As a child, I took art lightheartedly and just did it for fun.
Now looking back, I wish I felt the same way. I understand now that all art created has an underlying meaning. Art is made with meaning, whether it be intentional or subconsciously. Now I create art out of mixed emotions, whether it be happiness, frustration, or sadness. I genuinely miss the time I had as a 5-year-old to create whatever I want whenever I could. I cannot be careless with art anymore, or with anything that I do in my life.
I constantly visited Color Me Mine when I was younger; if only I could go again now. It was my favorite place to go. I painted many ceramic objects, like a monkey, a plate, an ice cream cone, a pig, and a vase. Four years ago I visited Color Me Mine with my aunts. As I glanced at the objects on the shelf, pondering which one I should choose, one caught my eye. It had two huge eyes staring back at me: an owl. It seemed content and calm. I chose to paint it.
I painted the pupil black and the iris brown for both eyes. Around one eye I painted a yellow circle, then a green circle around the yellow one. I painted the wings brown. I swiped my paintbrush across the stomach and the top part of the head with red paint. Everything else was untouched.
I did not finish painting it and I brought it home that day. Usually, it would stay at Color Me Mine so that it can be fired in a kiln. I found it this summer in a box and took it out. Years later, it is now sitting on my desk, staring at me. The owl is unsettling and angry looking. The swipe of red paint across the stomach looks like blood. The incomplete eye is a constant reminder that everything is not perfect. The messy strokes of paint remind me of how careless I was when it came to art.
Keeping the unfinished owl on my desk is probably not the best idea, but I have not moved it yet. Finished or unfinished, it reminds me of the underlying meaning of the owl. Carelessness is not tolerated as we age, and nothing is perfect no matter how hard we try to fix it.
Photo credit: Gasia Karakesis