Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thoughts on the Creative Process

'What can I do with what I got?' When that is my focus, what I don't got starts to loose importance.

Also, so easy for students to look at a painting in progress they are working on and only see stuff they don't like. I ask them what they DO like and then work on how to embellish that. lots of life lessons in the art making process.

Art making takes a lot of humility. I will never forget a brand new student of mine, she had never painted before. I was delighted with her very first work. She looked at it and lamented... 'It looks so amateurish!' I tell my students all the time that we need to look at what we make and celebrate what we are able to do - just like you are your own child who proudly brings a painting to show a parent... you are your own parent and you need loving encouragement - just like a child...

I find that since most folks are so very hard on themselves in terms of what they expect of their capabilities, I like to do class admiration's instead of critiques. Most folks are so good a criticizing themselves, what they really need is encouragement. We have 3 painting terms each year (10 weekly 2 hr classes)... fall, winter, spring. At the end of each session, we put the paintings up and say what we like about each of them. Only after each has been explored for it's strengths, I will make a little aside about an improvement.... Doing an admiration this Thursday.

I gave my class a little pep talk last week about the creative process, about allowing it freedom - not needing anything from it other than to enjoy doing it. Since they are already more beautiful inside than anything they could ever make, they don't need success as prop to the ego... that is where the freedom comes from. Oddly - that is also where real success comes from too.