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When did we lose the ability to be artists?”
This is a re-creation by my niece Lucy of Paul Klee’s 1922 painting Senecio. Did I mention she is only five years old? I knew as soon as I saw it that it was a “Klee”. I think there is something exceptionally wonderful about a child’s ability to be so free from judgement, to be so in the moment as to be able to create this masterpiece. The original is now in the hands of Lucy’s very proud grandma, who just happens to be a guide at the National Gallery of Australia.
I heard a great story about an artist and card designer for Hallmark Cards in the United States. He tells the story of visiting elementary (primary) school classrooms and asking students to raise their hands if they were artists. What he found may not surprise you. In Prep, every child raised their hands quickly and proudly. By Year 3, about half the hands went up sometimes accompanied by a moment of consideration. By Year 6, maybe the odd child might hesitantly raise their hand in the affirmative when asked the question. So what is happening? How are we relating and reacting to artistic temperaments and creative endeavours in society? What could we do differently in our homes, families, with friends, in educational settings and in society in general to encourage artistic endeavour and creative exploration of life, our surroundings and the universe?
And what will be the difference for each of us if we achieved this aim? How much less stress, less anxiety, less unwarranted competition would you experience if you had genuinely creative experiences and the opportunity to play in child-like ways?
I know the difference it makes to me… I invite you to create and play in child-like and different ways – I am not talking about tennis or golf or riding your bike – think a little ‘outside the square’ and find a way that stretches you… just a little to start with. Check out some ways I get adults to play in child-like ways.
Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”
Because your Mind Health Matters…