Visualizing it happening and then doing more work; or
Thinking about it differently and accepting it for what it is. This last possibility escapes most people. They don’t believe they can think or feel differently about something. And they don’t feel they can accept reality. But they can!
I looked up images of plankton for drawing and then I read about them. I learned that they are classified not by taxonomy (as so many other animals are), but by ecological niche! There are numerous types of plankton – both microscopic as well as macro.
I decided to use acrylic paint for the “luminescent” factor. I have much to learn about using this type of paint. I’m taking a Lisa Congdon class on watercolors/gauche through Creativebug.com (“The Daily Painting Challenge”). It was $10 for 30 mini lessons on pattern-making: a great deal!
Not sure where I’m going with this art, but I am enjoying the process.
I assigned my 5th graders Powerpoint presentations on the early settlers (New England, Middle Colony, Southern Colony) and the rubric included a MAXIMUM of 5 words per slide.
“Ideally, you will choose an image that represents your topic for the slide – consider a primary source, such as a drawing – and then add key words that will remind you of the content for that slide,” I instructed.
“Five words? Only five words?” They asked.
“Yes. Key words to remind you of what to say.”
Because who wants to read paragraphs on a slide?
They went to work, buzzing like angry bees. This would require them to know the material very well.
I’ve always wanted to draw. I had a babysitter (Julie) who shut that dream down when I was six. She told me I couldn’t draw or color well.
Yet, when shopping for art supplies for my daughters, I’ve always lingered in front of the pencils and drawing tablets, the paints and brushes a bit longer than necessary. I’ve saved tons of art supplies for “someday” when I have time to take a class.
I realized that “someday” is pure imagination. We only have TODAY.
For my birthday, I treated myself to Lisa Congdon’s book, 20 Ways to Draw Everything. It got 5 out of 5 stars! I’ve watched her videos. She’s really good. It arrived in the mail today. But page after page just shows 20 dogs, 20 rabbits, 20 flowers, etc. perfectly drawn! There are no step-by-step directions. In the very beginning of the book, she instructs “Draw the big shapes and lines first, then add in the smaller details.” Really?
I need a lot more help.
So I drew and drew and the whole time, my inner critic was talking snidely to me. Seriously, do you call that a leg?
Look at Jazz. He looks like he’s had a craniotomy.
Oh for Pete’s sakes! Why do all of your dogs look pregnant?
Precious looks broken.
Is Brutus a dog or a deer?
I have to laugh. My inner critic is funny. My drawings are funny. I want to get good, but in my own way. I’ll never be Lisa Congdon good and that’s OK. I also ordered Milk and Honey. Look at one of her illustrations:
Her illustration is not “perfect.” It’s impactful. Her poetry has resonated with so many readers that her volume of poetry is a New York Times Bestseller.
So, I’m not going for perfect. I’m on a quest to develop my own style.
It’s that time of year again…when students who want to vye for a Student Council Officer position run their campaigns: create posters, prepare speeches, record them and hope for the best.
As I recorded several children giving their speeches, I was touched by their earnestness and jitters. It’s impossible for all who run to win, yet they are all – each of them – winners.
If there’s one thing I think we don’t teach our children enough (at home or school) is that it’s OK to try, to take a risk and not reach our goal. That it doesn’t mean we’re failures or that we ought to be ashamed.
It might sound like common sense to you.
Yet the words “loser” and “ashamed” are so pervasive in our culture. And “risktaker” denotes a type of reckless stunt person.
Risk-taking is the only way we grow, and it often includes some degree of pain.