I work in a school and have the pleasure of knowing Martin, a wonderful nursery teacher, and also an artist. He kindly ran a school training day on ‘art’. The thought of having to be creative made many colleagues, including myself, somewhat anxious.
Here is a quick summary of one of the activities on this (very enjoyable) day: we were asked to draw a horse (panic). We were given a picture of a horse (think google search images). Without exception, we all attempted to copy the horse exactly, with interesting results.
Martin then told us that he had not instructed us to copy the horse. he had merely asked us to draw a horse, and given us an image to remind us what a horse looks like. We did the exercise again. The results this time were more imaginative.
Continuing the horse theme, we were then asked to produce a ‘piece of art’ based upon the image of a horse. We were given access to Martin’s paints and materials, and to his library of books for inspiration, and he showed us images of other artists’ work.
The results of this exercise were AMAZING. My contribution involved using the curves of the horse’s body shape to create something of a mosaic effect, coloured with brightly coloured paint. The result looked nothing like my original attempt to draw a horse, but it was certainly inspired by a horse, and I was pleased with how my thought process and creativity developed. I reflected that my creation was confined within a rectangular shape (the A3 of the paper I used), and the consequent implication in terms of the creative boundaries I operate within, and I resolved to address this as an on-going commitment to learning to think creatively.
Martin, when people tell him that they ‘can’t draw’ reminds them that they wouldn’t say they couldn’t read in quite the same dismissive way, and that everyone can draw – just give a child crayons, for example. The child has no thoughts that she can’t draw, she just gets on with it. As adults we make things more complicated.
I write this post following my research into artificial light where I came across Anya Campbell’s images. Please see my post Anya campbell and Sato Shintaro . I was fascinated by Campbell’s beautiful horse images and I reflected on what a wonderful response to our training day exercise her Horse Project would have been!