Tuesday, November 3, 2015

C is for Creativity

 “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”Albert Einstein

Once again, Einstein has just the right words to express what I am thinking, and what I am doing in this challenge, in my studio and most of all, in my classes.

One of the biggest issues I confront in my senior classes (ages 73 - 102) is the oft repeated comment, "I'm no artist." Somewhere in their lives, so many (older) adults I meet have been convinced that they "can't even draw a straight line." As if that matters.

So I remind them, that art is not about straight lines (though they can be nice.) Art is not even about curved lines (though they definitely help.) It is not definitely not about getting everything right. So I bring them great art to look at. For the lesson I am writing about here, it was a slide show of images of Georgia O'Keeffe flowers.

I draw for them so that they see how it it done. I bring color and ideas, and I remind them every week that art is about fun and pleasure and experimentation. Art is NOT about perfection, or coloring neatly, or impressing anybody but yourself.

And then we make art -

The two flowers at left are my practice for a simplified lesson on Georgia O'Keeffe flowers - the idea was to fill the page and work large. We used Caran D'ache crayons on canvas board, and outlined with sharpie to make it easier for some of my older students to see clearly. After we colored, we used water to create a painted effect.

But creativity IS contagious. When I got home, I had the urge to continue playing with these large flowers, but to add lines with my well loved set of Prismacolor markers. The flowers at the top are just one of the pieces that resulted. This was so much fun, I did it again the next day, but this time, with my Young Artists. More about them later.