May 9, 2008

(163) Not Your Grandmother's Art
Kevin Macpherson states that children have so much to teach us about art, and suggests that we schedule a day to "watch their freedom and joy as they respond to shapes and color with intense focus and intuitive direction. This is true process." So today's assignment is to celebrate these busy little hands and the lessons learned. Come on along:

Lesson # 1 The Zen of Being. The importance of seemingly doing "nothing" cannot be overlooked. In this case, my "teacher" was pretending to be asleep. A quiet moment, a respite--an excellent way to shift gears, or prepare for the transition into the creative process. And if you have a good friend like Bear to share your rest as well as your adventures, all the better.
Lesson # 2- Think Outside The Box. Notice how this "moo-cow 'ticker" looks way better stuck onto the desk rather than the paper. Coloring outside the lines is so "last year" people-I learned that now it's all about 'ticking outside the paper.
Lesson #3 Use Your Five Senses to Create Art. When was the last time you broke out the old Play-Doh? Ahh, the colors, the fragrance, the softness and pliability of the dough....absolute bliss! Endless possibilities for creative fun and rolling, molding, folding with reckless abandon. (okay, not THAT reckless, only use four senses here, no tasting the play-doh)
Lesson # 4 : Simple Pleasures are the Best. I was instructed to take my shoes off so my feet could "feel da gwass." But of course. I had forgotten that spring just hasn't arrived until you have waltzed barefoot across the cool grass. Silly me.
Lesson # 5: Shake it Up. Why are we such creatures of habit? Why do we think the way we have always done something is the only "right way"? Perhaps because it requires really looking/really seeing something as if it were for the very first time in order to shake up your brain so you can imagine new possibilities. Can't be lazy. Gotta explore with new eyes. Well, NOW I KNOW that "Pink" is actually a flavor, and it is more fun to use a spoon to scoop it right out of the cone. See what I been missing?
Lesson # 6: No Attachment, No Fear. When was the last time you sketched, painted, wrote, sculpted (fill in the blank) something just for the joy of the moment, the process, the fun?--Completely without fear that it wouldn't be "good enough"? Or as Kevin explains "without the baggage based on outside influences such as public praise or gallery demands." Another gentle reminder that all children instinctively know that the present moment is all there is, and that the journey IS the destination. Right now, baby. This is it. Change is constant, nothing remains the same. Sketch something, erase it and move on... It is what it is, and what it is is exactly what it is supposed to be, no judgment here. (pretty big lesson for such wee hands)
Lesson # 7 Do Something New--(be willing to go in a new direction if that is where your heart leads you) Drawing on the chalkboard is predictably fun, and was our aim here, but I was taught that taking the chalk out of the box, laying it all out at once so you can position the colors and shapes into a lovely design--now THAT is the true artistic adventure of the day! Who knew?
I have so much to learn about trying new things and discovering new possibilities--good thing my teacher was so patient with me. Happy "new number" baby girl. I look forward to many more lessons.
...a little child, born yesterday,
A thing on mother's milk and kisses fed...
~ from the Greek Homeric hymn "Hymn to Mercury"


Frank Gardner said...

Great post Faye. Well written and well thought out.
So true. I learn so much from my little art teacher. In fact she is making some kleenex, glue glitter, wrapped things right now. Any time you need to borrow another little teacher you are welcome here for making some art. We always seem to have some fun project going on.

Who is your teacher?

theresamillerwatercolors said...

great blog! i enjoyed reading this entry and the peonies too.