And, yet, this morning, I can’t seem to follow my own advice.
Each Thursday, I participate in what Elizabeth calls “An Art Experience.” She offers a small group of us the chance to explore various media in whatever way we choose. She challenges us to let go and urges us to take risks. This is what I tell teachers I work with all the time. This should come easily, I think.
But it doesn’t.
As I mix my watercolor paints, trying to get the perfect ocean blue or pastel green, I feel my anxiety and frustration. “It’s not working,” I think, as I struggle to find the comfortable space between the sky and sea or tree and leaf. My house looks like a tent, and my chicken looks frozen in time, ready to be covered with yellow sugar and placed in an Easter basket. Not what I’d envisioned.
Elizabeth smiles. She knows that continued playing and putting brush to paper (or charcoal to canvas) will eventually allow me to find myself in my art, to create whatever it is I am striving for. She applauds when I pull out my colored pencils and draw on a background of watercolor and grins when I decide to dribble water on the charcoal “just to see what happens.”
Vygotsky says “children tend to create only for themselves, whereas adults create both for themselves and for the world in which they live.” I wonder if this is the block, the filter through which adults try to create. We fear judgment.
Elizabeth reassures me today, and I try again. I think she would agree with this quote from a Scottish education site:
Creativity is not just about special people doing special things. We all have the potential to be creative….a skill that needs to be developed.