Friday, May 27, 2011

Things to Say

It was a treat to lecture with Dr. Barney. When I listen to him talk about his artwork, I get more excited about my own. After every lecture I give, I do wish I could refine, polish and add to it. There are always those things I didn't say that drive me crazy. I'm always grateful for the questions people ask.

I talked about how I thought 'living artistically' enriched the lives of every person in our family. I talked a little about my dad and how he never pushed art making, but the environment I was raised in was artistically rich.
Utopia to me is my family working side by side. I made the disclaimer that we don't always live in utopia. Planned events don't usually work out, but I can create an environment where those incidents can happen.
I have learned that there is give and take. If I want to share this thing that I love, I have to give up some control and roll with it. I have to be flexible.

My kittens learn valuable lessons from living artistically. Collaboration, sticking to it, staying occupied, making meaning, making a difference, sensitivity to environment, resourcefulness, celebration, embracing chaos, communication, creating beauty, and sharing are some of the learning outcomes I have observed.
Matisse said, "Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and love of play." Dan Barney talked about the importance of play. I forget about that sometimes.

Most of the questions we were asked were really more practical, like how to fit it all in. I talked about 'being where your feet are." Sam asked how I remember to do that. What I should have said is that I'm still learning. That's why I paint about being present.
One of my favorite quotes is by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

"The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night."

I'm not sure how to say this exactly but I believe in hard work and hard play. 'Hard' isn't really the word though, how about rich work/play? Awareness and resting in that awareness is part of that too. If anybody wants to add to that, feel free to comment.
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AngryBaker said...

I sent Utah friends and family to the lecture and received glowing reports. Yep, I'm jealous. I think it's funny that everyone says (w/o consulting each other) that they want to be your neighbor. I suppose that's just a reflection of you sharing your creativity with everyone around you.

I'm going to add those 2 quotes to my keeper file, and remind myself that my kids need more play.

I think what you're saying about work and play is really summed up by the "be where your feet are" sentiment. Always being present in the moment sounds easy, but it is rather difficult. It takes focus. I do know that like Anna Quindlen wrote, I need to focus more on the Being, and less on the Getting It Done.

liesel said...

I've been blog lurking for a while... but this is an important topic for me. Its something that I am striving to do with my kids. I don't have any pithy words to add, but I do admire your example.

kitty said...

I love everything you said, I wish i could have been there to hear it all!! Oh how I hope to raise my family artistically! What wonderful lessons we each learn from the process of creation. thanks for setting the example :)

Alice Wills Gold said...

I like the new look on the blog.

I LOVED your presentation. I didn't know you were married to an artist. I am going to have to go and look him up. I am assuming that was your husband: the man with the handmade jeans??

I was sad I didn't get to introduce myself, but my family had all wandered off and I felt guilty for not spending time with them on a Monday night. I guess they all love making art more than hearing about it. But me, I was loving every minute of the presentation and that Q+A.

I indulged my last few minutes looking at your work on display. Your painting with the three girls was an emotional experience for me. It brought tears to my eyes. Really. Not sure what emotion the tears were from but I think they were based in complete awe and humility. Such a beautiful piece of work. Every flower. Even the on at the top that is yellow but almost looked like it could turn into one of the small hummingbirds at the bottom. It took my breathe away. I hope to get to one of your shows sometime, but I may have to take a tranquilizer beforehand if they all make me that emotional.

Michelle said...

I think one of the best things for children/teens, is having an environment where they can be creative and express themselves, without the fear of whether they are 'good enough' or not. There is so much positive that can be achieved from fostering this even in the smallest of ways.

I've tried to set up 'art things' before and it rarely works (they are all so diverse in their likes and dislikes..) yet if I'm at home, creating, often I am joined by them one by one (some for longer than others) and we all end up working, talking or sitting in comfortable silence, busying ourselves with our own projects. I think it's fantastic that your Dad never pushed his 'art' thing, and yet it became woven into who you are.. almost by osmosis. x

Samson said...

I appreciated your answer at the lecture, but thank you for elaborating even more. I've been doing some serious study on the topic of 'being present' lately and hope to share it soon, its pretty cool. More to come. Thank you.


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