Sometimes all we need is a visual spark

May 11, 2008 at 10:15 pm (Uncategorized)

A month and a half ago was spring break. It’s a great week for us at Art Village because we always have a full house. Kids and families come in to spend time together and make art. It’s great to see. During this week we put on an art camp. It’s not restricted to just kids. We open it up to adults as well. This is our third year doing it and every year we work out more of the bugs.

The first year of spring break camp was a learning experience for us all. We scheduled one activity for each day and estimated the amount of time it should take the kids to complete it. We thought “How hard can it be?”

What a surprise it was to us that first day when half the kids got done a half hour early. We had kids everywhere asking “what do we do now?” We scrambled to find something for them to do so they would run around Art Village. We discovered our upstairs studio is an inviting and tempting space for running. We were exhausted after day one. Needless to say, that night we quickly came up with some filler projects to occupy them throughout the week.

This year we were ready. We planned more art than there was time to do. One thing I love about spring break camp is that the kids are open to anything. When we plan our classes and workshops, we try to find something that’s new and interesting, but sometimes I’m not sure if other people will find the projects as fun as I do. One of the projects I wasn’t sure about was a 3-dimensional Van Gogh Painting. I thought it would be cool but I wasn’t sure they’d like this one because it doesn’t sound exciting. However, it ended up being one of the favorites.

We had the kids look through books that had paintings by Vincent Van Gogh in them. Each artist chose a painting that they liked and drew their interpretation of the painting on a large board. They then started painting in their own unique style. After they painted, they started to attach three dimensional objects to their paintings such as sticks, yarn, grass, drywall compound and anything else we had lying around the studio. Some kids used chalk pastel, others painted the objects. But the interesting thing was that they got so engrossed in the project that they didn’t want to stop. Each one expressing their individuality through their painting.

The results were so cool. You could really see the unique personality of each artist. There was so much expression and personality in each one. They were all truly works of art.

All they needed was a visual spark to get their imaginations going. Sometimes we can feel creatively stuck. I think it’s good to look for artistic sparks in the world around us. If you have the desire to express yourself in a creative way, (which I believe we all do), go and find something to inspire you. Do whatever it takes to motivate you to do it. When you need an idea, go and look at stuff. It’s okay to borrow and modify.

Some people are afraid to start a project because they don’t know where to begin. They say “I have no ideas.“ I understand that the blank canvas can be somewhat daunting. That’s why I look for inspiring images and ideas from other areas of my life. Just like the kids were inspired to create their own individual works of art by looking at Van Gogh’s paintings, we can be inspired by other forms to create our own personal expression. Look at art and design and color. These things are all around us. Then go to your art making place and make art. If you need to be with other people, take a class to spark ideas. If you need to be alone, make a date with yourself. There is so much in our lives to drain our energy. We need to do whatever it takes be inspired.

Art Saves Lives!

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