Sunday, July 18, 2010

Art or Soup?

Many years ago, a young girl named Amelia decided that she wanted to "do art" like  Jack, her father and Jane, her mother. So she set up a studio in the basement corner of her father's sculpture studio/workshop. Being a young person, the table she used was small and low and the chair she sat on was small and low.

On her work surface she arranged all of her art supplies including crayons, paper, glue, scissors, pencils and pens, and bits and scraps of this and that. The crayons were neatly arranged in their carefully opened box, the paper was stacked precisely and placed in the upper right hand corner of the table, the scissors and glue and pens and pencils were standing straight in a clean frozen juice can, the bits and pieces of this and that were safely stored in a wooden cigar box.

Amelia spent most of her art time arranging and rearranging her work space. The paper moved from the right corner to the left corner, the crayons were taken out of their box and filled the juice can, and the pens and pencils moved to the cigar box.

First, the table faced the wall, then came out sideways from the wall, and then faced the room with the chair between the table and the wall. The beads, thread, and pins started out in a shallow tuna can but were moved to a glass jar, and next were in placed a shallow plastic container. And then her supplies moved again. And again. And again.

While Amelia did some art, like drawing and also stringing beads on a large safety pin (one of which I still have in a drawer) it turned out that her art really embraced the concept of mixed-media time, space, and area movement. It included their layout management, arrangement, and rearrangement. If one had thought to photograph her work space over time, a wonderfully interesting pattern would be apparent and isn't that in itself art?

P.S. Amelia grew up, married, became Dr. Room Professor of Archeology, and has two lovely, well organized children. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.


  1. Hi : )
    I loved the story, however, I am curious about one thing. How come the girl's name changed from Amanda at the beginning to Amelia at the end?
    Love, Lor

  2. Hey Lor,

    Thanks for leaving a comment. Your "notice" was well taken and corrected. Received an e-mail from "Amanda/Amelia" who enjoyed the story and confirmed the "very clean empty frozen juice can."


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