My hands will soon be covered in paint – like hand in this photo. YAY! I cannot wait!
It is super important for me, as a person, and as an educator, to: get inspired, try new techniques, play, and make things. The whole process – anticipating, enjoying, searching, looking, researching, talking, trying, learning, failing, fretting and succeeding – teaches and touches me as a person and an educator.
The preparation is a time of excitement, joy and anticipation!
I relish the trip to the art store! Paper, paint, stencils, cutting tools, canvases, paint brushes invite me to explore, imagine and buy. I usually end up in line with much more than my original shopping list. If I’m lucky, my cashier is an artist. We kibitz over my choices, and share our passion and ideas. On my last visit, I discovered there is 300 pound watercolor paper! 300 lbs! The clerk said it is “Delicious!” (You do know I will soon be purchasing some, don’t you?)
I love scouring bookstores for art books or magazines. It’s a treasure hunt. If I’m lucky enough to find one or two that inspire me, I’m a happy girl! Just thinking about being creative makes me happy. It doesn’t bring me as much joy as actually creating, but it is pretty awesome.
And, of course, after all the prep, I love the doing! Surrounded by supplies. In the zone. Hands covered with paint. Mind buzzing. Spirit soaring.
But, occasionally, I notice less than positive emotions. Sometimes there is a vague sense of angst. Usually it’s when I’m faced with a technique that is new, outside my wheelhouse, or that doesn’t easily mesh with my usual sensibilities. It’s always somewhat surprising to notice the less than positive emotions. I love being creative and artistic, and I’m pretty talented. And yet, I still sometimes feel apprehension, the worry of not being good enough, or the fear of messing it up.
As I notice all my experiences, thoughts and feelings, my mind turn to my students. I want them to experience it all. The positive and the less than positive emotions. I want them to struggle, to think, to fail, to learn, to succeed. I even want them to experience the angst, and the truth that angst can be overcome.
Wondering how I might do that, I am considering these questions:
- How might we facilitate anticipation, discovery and joy?
- How might we participate in the excitement of the treasure hunt for ideas and/or supplies?
- How might we provide inspiration?
- How might we find the time to allow ourselves to savor the process?
- How might we structure our time together, to enable more conversation, as artists, regarding our passion, our work and/or our materials?
- How might we give each other the freedom to adapt a particular technique or project to better fit our own sensibilities?
- How might we be more aware of thoughts/feelings of angst and fear?
- How might we better support each other in angst and fear?
- How might we continue to encourage belief/knowledge of ourselves as capable, awesome artists?
I’m not sure, but I’m wondering ….
My first draft of this blog post had a list of “How might I …?” questions. As I re-read my post, the I was in glaring opposition to the we of creative teams. Yes, I am the teacher, so, yes, much is up to me. But, we are a creative team – my kindergartners, my colleagues, and I – and it is better that I ask “How might we …?”
My students teach me, inspire me, problem solve with me, and often see things from an insightful prospective much different than mine. Inviting them into my musing will be beneficial for us all!