Chiming in on Art

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My idea of art is a golf ball that moves left when you want it to move left and right when you want it to go right.

I’m pretty simple that way.

As far as real art goes, I do like to go to South Coast Repertory or the Pacific Symphony and I’m consistently in awe of their talents. I have to be honest, what’s more beautiful than seeing a classically trained violinist or pianist; someone who’s committed their whole life to that instrument?

But as far as me, I couldn’t play an instrument or act a part to save my life.

Artistic ability skipped me altogether.

As a kid, my mom would give my older brother and me pictures to color. My brother would color them perfectly, with each flow of the crayon blending into the next. His color choices were impeccable.

I, on the other hand, would scribble back and forth, most of the time going out of the lines. It was more of a question of how fast I could color an area rather than how good I could make it look.

I just wanted it slapped on the front of the refrigerator, with my name at the bottom, as quickly as possible.

Today they call it ADHD.

Fast forward to last week. I was offered a short trip south to the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach to participate in a creative art class.

I was hoping they wouldn’t be grading on the curve.

The class is part of Sawdust Studio Art Classes, put on by the Sawdust Festival, in conjunction with the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau.

Going in you have a choice of different classes: designing tidepool bracelets or sushi plates, pendant making, water casting, fabricating a brooch or creating a wind chime. One artist even leads a teapot-designing course.

For me, -ta-da! – it was the wind chimes with an artist named Nadine Nordstrom. Here the task was to simply create wind chimes out of ceramic. Nordstrom takes you through the steps of building, shaping, imprinting and tying your chimes.

The goal is to take your end-design home and, in this case, hang it on the deck, or, if good enough, maybe give it as a gift.

So I chose the classic heart design.

You know, a bunch of hearts hanging down, clanging off one another when the wind is right.

“I made that,” I’ll tell any guest who asks.

The Sawdust Festival plans to continue offering these courses to the public. They would be great for an office off-site, a group or family outing, or, just for someone who wants to challenge their artistic abilities. And, let’s honest, it’s not like Laguna Beach is in the next county (

By the way, let me know if you want a signed Tom Johnson. Perhaps I can create something special for you. I’m now an artist!


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