Saturday, February 16, 2008

Stop Blaming Mother!

The long ride home had me thinking about the workshop, the pros and cons. It certainly was a new experience for me to view art as a therapy, a process rather than a product. Blocks to creativity were discussed : the usual nuggets of conformist schooling, repressive parenting and the evils of coloring books. I have problem with this as most of the artists we admire today came from very strict societies and frequently had major demons nibbling at their psyches. Their education focused soley on knowledge rather than imagination. Did they go to BE workshops to open up? Maybe they meditated for at least an hour a day or were sexually abstinent - these were also discussed. But I have read "Sex Lives of the Artists" know the latter is is rather dubious. (See also The Big Bang Theroy of Art, fascinating reading about creative types, maybe being promiscuous and schizophrenic is the answer.) Or was it the copius amounts of absinthe that led early artists to be more expressive? Maybe their sad, demanding or neurotic mothers were the muses that led to creativity? (Van Gogh's mother Anneke above.)
I loved my coloring books and had a huge collection of crayons. I coloured within the lines, sometimes I added my own lines. I learned that with careful amounts of pressure and various forms of hatching you can shade and blend even with wax crayons. Push enough crayon onto the page and you can put a paint wash over top. Take the page out, turn it over and make a rubbing. Oil it and make it transparent. I could go on and on. Colouring books are just another tool to use creatively. Thank you Mom!
Some more intersting reading about creativity in kids, click here.

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