Sunday, October 22, 2006

Even the forest can hear---apologies to everyone!

On Friday, I took an Encaustics class. Two other artist friends, Amy and Jean were also taking the class. I had saved some miscellaneous "stuff/junk" leftover from a garage sale that I thought they could use in their artwork.

I told them that they could go through the boxes and anything that they did not want, then I would take back and deliver to Goodwill or take to the dump.

Jean said, "Oh, don't worry, we will take what we can't use to Goodwill."

I replied, "If you can't use it in your artwork, it is only good for the dump!"

They took it good-naturedly and Jean said that they should put a sign in their studio that says, "We use junk that is too bad for Goodwill." or something like that.

I did not think about what I was really saying, but they caught it. I have awaken two nights thinking about how it is so easy to make a comment and say something that sounds really bad.

Today I told my husband about it and he informed me that I often blurt out this kind of thing without thinking! Of course, I never realized that I do this---much less often! In fact, I always think that even if I say something not exactly how it should be said, that people know I would never mean it the way it sounds. I think what bothered me the most is that I would have expected him to say, "Honey, I'm sure they did not take it the wrong way. Anyone who knows you, would not expect you to intentionally say something that would hurt their feelings." Instead, he says that I should really watch this kind of thing.

The fact that someone can take "stuff/junk" and make it marketable or of use is something that I really admire. In fact, most of the stuff was either something that I saw some potential in or just did not want to put in the landfills.

Jean had just entered a piece into the Visual Art Exchange's mixed media exhibit and she used an old doll head, lampshade ring, old box, parts of a vegetable steamer and many other unusual found items that one would not often find a use for. It was an excellent piece and surely one that most people would never think to make using these objects. Amy had also made a piece with found objects for the VAE exhibit. So in my book, if anyone can make use of "stuff," they surely can. If I can get a photo of Jean's piece, I will post it here and I think you will see what I mean.

Today as I was reading the Anchorage Daily News online, I saw an article that had this quote,
"Grandmother taught me that all our relatives and friends, even the forest, can hear every word that we say. That is why we must always be careful with our words, she said. Always show respect. Remember who you are. Watch your words carefully. Even the forest can hear you.
Even the forest can hear."

So now I will take that quote and think on that and apologize to Jean and Amy. Maybe I have said who knows what to my husband and I better apologize to him, and then to my son---wonder what I have said that he took in a way differently than I intended---I better apologize to everyone I know. I just don't think when I talk about some things and I am positive that I have said plenty that has caused hurt feelings. Apologies to everyone! Just remember that I have good intentions.

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At 10/25/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger Samantha said...

Oh Jeanne. I don't know what made me check your blog tonight because you rarely post on it but I'm glad I did. Honey, anyone who knows you also knows you don't have a mean bone in your body! You would never deliberately say anything hurtful to anyone such as that. Don't worry your pretty little head about it anymore -- do apologize to them, it'll make you feel better.
Hugs to you, sweetness!

At 10/27/2006 3:36 PM, Blogger Jeanne Rhea said...

Thanks for the post! Great to hear from you.

At 11/06/2006 10:57 PM, Blogger Pörrö Sahlberg said...

Copying this rant to here too. Sorry, friend for spamming both blogs with my opinions, but seriously I feel the need to say this :D

As I said...

Jeanne, I may be a Finn (lol) and used to straight talk, but seriously from my point of view you are not at all bad with your puns. You are a kind person.

From the mixed media artist point of view your statement makes perfect sens. It is one of the statements of any artist who chooses to use stuff "not worthy to anything" and make it something else. Choosing mixed media is also choosing not to start from empty canvas but really try to see the art in everyday objects. In this world were there is way too much of pollution and way too much useless stuff it is actually a compliment: if you can use any of this and it does not need to be recycled, then the lifespan of what would otherwise be litter can be longer than expected. The creativity of mixed media artists is endless and giving them trash is actually giving them material that already has some inspiration, value and soul attached to it.

I know I am ranting - and in your blog, forgive me - but seriously mixed media has a lot to say to John Doe who just does not even think before throwing stuff to litterbox. It rises a valid question about art (what is and what is not) but also it is about seeing the items as they are, not as you are used to see them. Most of the materials I know both me and you adore are usually seen as junk. But the value of arts and crafts does not come from the material, it comes from soul and creativity of the artist.

At 11/08/2006 4:00 PM, Blogger Jeanne Rhea said...

Thank you for taking the time to write all of this! I know you tell it like it is---even if it means not pouring honey on the subject. You are a dear, dear friend.

At 12/23/2006 3:50 PM, Blogger EC (Lisa) Stewart said...


I'm sure you've heard:
"One's man trash is another man's treasure?"

I agree with Porro, I find delight in the most mundane things like crushed wire sunglasses on the pavement and realizing their artistic worth. An old boyfriend exclaimed, "if you want glasses, I'll buy them for you." Naturally, explaining to him their current worth was lost on him.

The next time you're riding in my car, you just might find 'crap' taking residence in my car. Everything is to be admired.

For the longest time, I had saved a watch (I had bought w/my allowance for $10 at the age of 10) with the American Girl Scout emblem on it. I was proud to have saved my allowance and purchase something I thought was worth for several reasons. I brought it down to NC 13 years ago and it sat in the arm of my driver's side car door with a dead battery minus the worn straps. It was my talisman. Since, it has disappeared -I doubt I'll ever find it.

I thought one day I would use it for a mixed-media project. *sigh*

Oh, and another proverb about apologies:

Friends don't need 'em, and enemies don't believe 'em. (Better say than to master -believe me!)


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