In the Beginning…

This is my first blog post. I have no idea if anyone will read this but I’m doing it anyway, out of my love for art and the amazing process of it all. 40,000 years ago people were creating art on the walls of caves. The reasons for these paintings are unknown but theories suggest shamanistic rituals or prayers for a bountiful hunt. Whatever those theories may be, these ancient paintings show us that art is an authentic, deep aspect of our human-ness and the desire to create is ingrained in us all. 

Art has always been a personal retreat for me. Some of my oldest memories are of illustrating my own picture books on construction paper and trying my hardest to copy drawings from books to my own frustrated dismay. As I got older and gained more practice over time, I learned techniques, skills, and how to use tools and materials.

But what always thrilled me the most was the actual process of making the art. So much that I have spent way too long on creating my paintings, covering up several layers of underpaintings, loving the feel of the paint on my fingertips as they scrape along the wet canvas, adding new materials and using inventive new tools. Sometimes the result is wonderful. Sometimes overdone. But the process…always a journey.

Having children is a daily lesson in appreciating the moment. I am a mother of two active little girls, Adele 7 and Alice will be 3 next week. Any parent knows that a walk around the block is a slow, gradual process, extended by dandelion pickings, neighborhood dog greetings and hopping over sidewalk cracks. And as everyone who has ever had children says, these moments/days/years go by fast.

So now I return to all of those themes as I think about my new adventures in blogging and teaching art to kids. Art, process, being in the moment…this is why I like to do what I do. Little children are natural masters of seizing the moment, experimenting, eliminating inhibitions and embracing the act of creating. These are, what I believe, essential qualities of a great artist.

My goal is to provide a place and an opportunity for children to be the natural artists that they are. To explore, make new discoveries and be spontaneous. Getting messy is just part of the process. This blog is an opportunity to highlight that process as it unfolds. So I shall begin my new blog with a quote from one of my favorite children’s book classics, The Magic Schoolbus, “Take chances, make mistakes, Get Messy!” Thanks Ms. Frizzle. I couldn’t have worded it any better.

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