Jojo — a friend and colleague — greeted me at the door of my classroom, “You have to come to my car. I have something for you.” She pulled a Strand bag out of the trunk of her car and handed it to me. “I was at the Strand, and realized you had to read this book. So I bought it for you.”
The book is Living Color by Natalie Goldberg. I began reading it as soon as I got home. I’ve only read the introduction, but wow, I have to agree with Jojo. I do have to read this book!
This is from the introduction:
“But let’s get back to the feeling that you can’t draw. Don’t pay attention to your feeling. It’s giving you the wrong information. … And you’ve probably heard the rule: no erasing, no tearing up the paper. Accept the way it comes out. If you practice this acceptance, more will come out. Space and freedom will open up. You won’t edit and crimp yourself before you begin to explore.” (Goldberg, N. (2014) Book. NY: STC Craft.)
I love that!
I have to read this passage to my kindergartners!
Yes, I know everyone says all kindergartners believe they’re artists. It’s not true. They don’t all believe that. Some do, but lots of them are really not sure they’re artists, at least not very good artists. They fret, and erase, and compare themselves with others they believe are better artists.
I wonder if I can read this to them on the first day?!?! *big smile*
No, I won’t do that.
I’ll wait — at least a day. *wink*
Trust me, I am going to read this to them — sooner rather than later. But first I’ll let Natalie’s words inform me about my drawing, my understanding of art, and my sense of myself as an artist.
I just bought an art journal on my last trip to the art store. I didn’t have a plan for it, I just liked it, so I bought it. (I should tell you, I don’t think you can have too many art journals!)
Here it is with some of my favorite things — river rocks, and an awesome pencil and marker! It’s good to have things you love beside you as you begin to explore.
I’m excited, and just the slightest bit daunted, to begin my exploration of drawing without erasing or tearing out the page. I’ll have to keep track of my emotions and thoughts as I draw. They will be powerful to share with my students — perhaps even more powerful than my drawings.
It’s a plan! Wish me luck.