A few weekends ago, we went to the famous Wildflower Festival in Crested Butte, Colorado. The scenery and flowers were stunning. I took some pretty good pictures, I thought. Then a couple of days later, a friend posted on Facebook some flower pictures she took in her backyard garden, and they blew my shots away. Clearly, I still have a lot to learn about photography.

This coming weekend, a friend and I are hosting a karaoke party to celebrate our birthdays. There are moments, when I’m singing in the shower or the car, when I think I sound pretty good. Then I get the chance to hear one of my singer friends perform and realize, I still have a lot to learn about singing!

A while back, I attended an event in which the cartoonist from The Economist spoke, and he also taught us how to draw a caricature of President Obama. I’ve never thought I could draw anything other than stick figures, but my Obama was not that terrible. Apparently, I could learn a lot more about art, if I wanted to.

Last week, to celebrate my 50th birthday, I wanted to do something outside the box and a little outside my comfort zone, so I took a class called Accents for Actors. I’m glad I went. I learned a lot, but I was in way over my head. I definitely have a lot to learn about acting.

That is what makes the arts so much fun, whether you pursue them professionally or as a hobby. These are things that, on a certain level, look like they should be easy, but they’re not. On the other hand, almost anyone can learn to play the piano or paint with watercolors or write a short story.

And the more we learn, the more whole worlds open up to us; the more conversations we can have with strangers when we discover shared hobbies or passions; the more we start to pay attention to the art that surrounds us when we travel or visit a new friend’s home. Even if we only dabble in certain art forms, the efforts bring us pleasure and stretch us inside and out.

So this weekend, whether you are playing the only song you know on the ukulele and singing around the campfire or going to a songwriters workshop to get better at your craft, tap into how art makes you feel, and the joy it brings to others, and be grateful that art is a part of our lives!

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