I remember the moment I no longer thought I was an artist. I was in fourth grade and was sitting in art class at Taylor Elementary School. Before that moment, I loved art. I loved to draw and to make beautiful pictures. After that moment, my art became stilted and I really didn’t draw more than stick figures into adulthood. The moment that made the change is unavailable to me. Was I corrected? Was I made fun of? I honestly don’t remember. I do know there was a change and afterwards creating art was not fun and it was futile.
My pursuit of playfulness has challenged that art memory. One thing that I have learned about playfulness through my exploration of and embracing of her this year is that she is related to creativity. In fact I think they might be twins. If I am going to pursue one, the other is intertwined. Learning about playfulness is learning about creativity. For me, somehow creativity is connected to that fourth grade moment.
This month has been about exploring playfulness in all forms. Playfulness in art has been one of them. When you create through drawing, the power of observation is palpable. The need to look closely at an object to make it more than a stick figure for me has been a wonderful experience. Two weeks ago I purchased watercolors and pens and for an afternoon (and I hope for many more) I took time looking at an object and drawing and painting it. It was a simple flower. I was lost in noticing and creating as time passed from afternoon into evening. It was an exercise of seeing closely and taking time so that what I saw was replicated on the paper.
In my exploration of playfulness, art has risen to the surface. Drawing has helped me to see better and free-formed art has helped me to play better. Discovering the playfulness in me is helping me rediscover the artist in me that went to sleep in that fourth grade class many years ago. Playfulness is the gift that keeps giving and giving!
PLAY-TITUDE #26: CREATE FOR THE PLAYFULNESS OF IT!
Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for writers and teachers of writing to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.