Rediscovering Messy Art


From my walk, because I love yellow.

“If I could take nice pictures and had a camera, I’d love to photograph the changing seasons,” I thought to myself. Again. I wished I’d been blessed with the gift of photography on the day that talents had been handed out.

I had the same thought again a few days ago as I looked out my bedroom window, noticing how much the trees had changed in such a short period of time. And thinking how much fun it’d be to document the transition. “If I could take nice pictures and had a camera,” I began again. And then I stopped. Wait. I do have a camera.

Within a matter of minutes I was shoving on rain boots and grabbing my camera, throwing its red and white polka-dot strap over my shoulder as I marched out the front door. Whether or not I could take “nice” pictures didn’t even matter, I told myself. I enjoyed taking pictures, so I was going to take them.

Once I was outside, heading onward towards autumnal adventures, I turned my camera on and flipped through the last pictures I’d taken. They were vacation photos. I hadn’t touched my camera, not even once, since Ian and I had been on vacation. My camera had just been hanging by its strap in the closet, waiting.

Waiting for what?

I’m not sure exactly. Maybe for me to stop acting like such a grownup.

My biggest worry when it came to art as a child was that someone else would copy me. In fact, “He’s copying me!” was something I regularly hollered at the parental units. “Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery,” was usually the reply. Flattery? I didn’t care about flattery. I already knew it was good; I just didn’t want anyone stealing my stuff.

But then one day, I’m not entirely sure how, things changed. Art stopped being play and became a profession. Art stopped being messy and became a way to make money. Art became the domain of artists, and I didn’t know the secret knock to get me into the club.

Some kids were corralled into a beautiful box marked “Artist,” where the expectations that go along with intimidating words like Talent and Gift I’m sure hung heavy around their small shoulders, while the rest of us eventually hung up our finger paints, coloring books, and even cameras. Or at least I did.

Luckily, autumn is infectious. The brisk winds and bright colors seem to call us out of the house to play, and to remember that at one point there wasn’t a difference between jumping in a pile of crunchy leaves and painting a sunset. It was all bright and colorful. It was all wild and messy. It was all magic. But, best of all, it was all fun.

I called my walk self-care. And it certainly was. But sometimes I think that’s just boring grownup speak for some much needed, good old-fashioned fun. The messy art of childhood.

What does messy art look like for you? How are you having fun this autumn? I’m happy to report that my camera has a lot more than just vacation pictures now, and I plan to continue this trend.

4 thoughts on “Rediscovering Messy Art

  1. Yay!! Photography has been an utter passion of mine since I was about ten years old. There are times when I physically ache to capture a scene with my good camera. But in truth, using any camera will do. It’s the act of getting out there and doing it. I love your photo, and yellow leaves in the fall always stir something in me. The red stems stand out, as does the tiny bit of green still peaking out from the yellow. So glad you got your camera out and captured a moment. There is indeed perfection in the messy as well; especially when it’s Mother Nature. There must be something in the air, because I just posted some photographs as well… it had been a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I enjoyed looking over some of your pictures on your blog! And I can so relate with that physical ache — only for me it’s writing. I started writing regularly when I was 11 or 12. I bought a Winnie the Pooh journal that I kept daily, and went through many more journals since then. I still journal but tend to prefer blogging now. When I feel the need to write, I make notes on my phone. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Shirley

    I enjoyed your article; and I think that maybe photography, as a habit is also possibly, a mindset that we have as part of who and what we are. From my own experience taking photographs was, for about 35 years of my life, a disastrous affair because of a variety of negative things that happened from thinking that the film was wound on properly and taking numerous of photos of my honeymoon, (which of course wasn’t the case), to purchasing an “instant photo” camera which, unfortunately, was taken off the market and so we couldn’t purchase anymore of the correct film, blah, blah, blah. So I developed the habit of getting other people to take photos and send me copy.

    It wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I suddenly cottoned on to the idea that I can take fairly decent photos with my cell phone or tablet! What a pleasure! But, of course, now the trick is to REMEMBER to take them!! 🙂 I suppose that, as with everything else in life, practice makes perfect and the more I capture special moments the more I capture!

    I have learned, from sad experience, that capturing moments and events, either with photographs, video or audio recordings is so important, because our “forgettery” comes into play, as time goes by. That in itself is enough motivation to try and change the mindset and habits of the past. It doesn’t matter too much how professional we are at it. It is only the capture that counts.

    Keep writing Kelsey…….your words and style give me food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for being so encouraging, Shirley.

      My cellphone is helping to get me in the habit of taking pictures, too. I agree — we don’t have to be professionals in order to take pictures that help us remember. I love how a pictures helps bring memories back. Wanting to remember motivates me take pictures as well. Here’s to getting in the habit of taking pictures again and to capturing memories. 💛


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