Have you ever noticed how effortlessly a child expresses him or herself? It’s only when the adults around them start impressing their ideas upon them that children begin to adjust, modify, question and doubt.
My granddaughter and I were in our play-grand world the other day and were trying to capture the christmas tree with markers on our re-cycled cardboard shirt trays when she decided to put me into her Christmas scene. I flippantly commented that my feet looked like a ducks. Her face looked sad, I wanted to kick myself; a little of the magic seeping out of the moment.
One of the joys of being a free-bird (formerly thought of as an empty-nester) is the sudden gift of time to discover things that have been put on hold during the child-rearing years. Learning a brand new skill, like song writing, banjo playing, art lessons, cycling, whatever, puts one in a beginning or child-like place. For me, the maturity factor helps ward off the demon of criticism, because frankly, who gives a hoot? It’s kind-of cute that an old gal would try out for a bit movie part – right?
So, I start taking art classes and I know nothing about art. At first it is so much fun and I love my creations. Then I start to look at other people’s work and start on the road to perfection and I really try to make my foot look like a foot and I keep trying and trying and trying and soon it’s not all that much fun any more.
Someone recommends the book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and I learn something. Our brain has two halves and two ways of processing information. “The left hemisphere analyzes, abstracts, counts, marks time, plans step-by-step procedures, verbalizes, and makes rational statements based on logic… The right-hemisphere mode: (is) the intuitive, subjective, relational, holistic, time-free mode.” (pg. 38-39)
Basically, the problem with my drawing is a problem with my seeing and as soon as I think that I am drawing a foot, my mind conjures up the idea of a foot and over-rides what I am actually seeing which is form, shape, shadow and light. The objective is to free up that right hemisphere and to quiet down that dominant left, because: “the right hemisphere is not, after all, under very good verbal control. You can’t reason with it. You can’t get it to make logical propositions such as ‘this is good and that is bad….is not good at categorizing and naming. It seems to regard that thing as-it-is.”(pg.40)
The challenge for me in 2012 is not only to draw, but to love on the right side of my brain.