what if...?

In Brenda Belfield's class this weekend at The Art League, Design Rules and How to Break 'em!, I was kicked right out of my comfort zone. I didn't think I'd been at the book arts long enough to know what my comfort zone is, but I discovered in this class that I clearly have one.

Brenda's a world-renowned abstract painter and glass artist, so just taking her class was a leap for me. As she encouraged us to think "what if...?" with all of our initial solutions to the design challenges she threw at us, I clung to what I now see is my comfort zone: sticking to the safety of the grid, a delicate esthetic, minimal patterns, a monochromatic palette. Hmmm...is this how I live my life?

I'm probably being a little hard on myself. After all, I color decidedly outside the lines at times. Yet as her question continues to pop into my head today (and my post-Penland high remains), I'm struck by its application to more than our little art class exercises. What if I really embraced my art? What if I could learn to fully express what I'd like to say through these magical media? What if I could change the world, just a little, with my art? What if I could design a life that, in my wildest (no, I think these are my oldest) dreams, I never thought I could have?

Never mind how for now. Just...what if?