SITTING IZZY

AS AN ARTIST, I AM SO COMPLETELY AWARE OF THE HESITATION TO BEGIN A PIECE....TO PICK UP THE PEN, TO DIP THE BRUSH IN THE WATER...AND TO START MAKING ART. THE EVOLUTION OF HESITATION HAPPENED SOMEWHERE AROUND THE KINDERGARTEN PAINT SPACE. BEFORE THIS, DRAWING WAS ABOUT EASE....PLEASURE...A CHOICE FOR A FEW MOMENT'S ACTIVITY. BUT AS SOON AS THE ART WAS MADE IN A SPACE WHERE OTHERS WERE ALSO THERE, C O N S C I E N T I O U S N E S S HAPPENED.

WE ARE NUDGED TO "DO WHAT IS RIGHT" FROM THE BEGINNING OF OUR SCHOOL EXPERIENCES; NOT THE MORAL OBLIGATION, BUT THE PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENT THAT IS SPOKEN OF LOUDLY, INCESSANTLY, AND OH SO SUBTLY. BUT CREATING ART REQUIRES ANOTHER MIND FRAME...A MIND THAT WANTS TO RECORD A BIT OF KNOWLEDGE OR AN EXPERIENCE. TO BE IN THIS COGNITIVE SPACE, THERE MUST BE ROOM FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL CHILD TO ENTER INTO THEIR OWN MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL PROCESSING.

CHILDREN TELL WHAT THEY KNOW IN THEIR ART. IF A TEACHER'S ART PROJECT, OR A GRANDMOTHER'S CRAFT IDEA IS THE TASK AT HAND, THAT IS ALL THAT IT IS: A TASK OR A PROJECT. 

BRINGING ART TO THE WORLD OF THE CHILD IS MORE LIKE SETTING A TRAY OF DELIGHTFUL TASTES AND DRINKS BEFORE ANY HUMAN WHO HAS TASTEBUDS. PRESENTING OPTIONS OF COLOR AND TEXTURES, SHAPES AND SHADES, TRINKETS AND OBJECTS...OUT ON A SURFACE...TO BE SEEN, AND TOUCHED, MAYBE TASTED, POSSIBLY SMELLED....IS THE ART- PROMPT FOR THE YOUNG CHILD. THE TIME FOR REFLECTION AND MAYBE EVEN A BIT OF WONDER IS CRUCIAL FOR THE CHILD TO HAVE POSSESSION OF THE EXPERIENCE. 

"SITTING IZZY" IS A PIECE OF ART I QUICKLY SKETCHED AND PAINTED ON A HOT SUMMER'S DAY AS THE PROCESSING FOR THIS CHILD WAS SO CLEARLY STATED. ALL OF THE OTHER CHILDREN IN THE STUDIO WERE MAKING THEIR SELF-PORTRAITS USING HAND-HELD MIRRORS AND THEIR PAINTS. IZZY WAS RESTLESS WITH THE WHOLE IDEA...SHE WANDERED AROUND THE ROOM, LOOKING AT THE WORK OF THE OTHERS. EVEN HER YOUNGER BROTHER JACK SEEMED ENTHRALLED IN HIS RENDERING OF HIS FACE. IZZY ASKED ME QUIETLY, THOUGHTFULLY, IF I COULD DRAW HER FACE AS I SAW HER. (SHE NEVER SUGGESTED THAT SHE DID NOT WANT TO DO THIS ACTIVITY; SHE MERELY SUGGESTED THE WAY SHE WANTED TO DO IT.) I RESPONDED WITH A WHOLE-HEARTED "YES!"

WE CARRIED A CHAIR OUT TO THE SIDE OF THE GARDEN. IZZY COULD SIT OR STAND AS SHE WANTED. I PULLED OUT A STOOL TO SIT WHILE I DREW. WHEN I USED A NEW CANVAS AS MY SURFACE, SHE IMMEDIATELY ASKED IF SHE COULD "TAKE THIS HOME?" 

"OF COURSE, YOU MAY. IT WILL BE YOURS'," I ASSURED HER.

IZZY DID SIT...WITH A CALM AND CASUAL BODY LANGUAGE THAT WAS RELIEVED AND AT EASE. SHE NEVER ONCE ASKED IF SHE SHOULD DO SOMETHING ELSE WITH HER HANDS, OR SMOOTH HER CLOTHES, OR EVEN TILT HER HEAD TO THE SIDE. WE TALKED ABOUT THE DAY AHEAD, AND SWIMMING LATER AFTER ART CAMP. AS I WENT INSIDE TO GRAB MY PAINTS, IZZY SMILED. 

"YOU'RE GOING TO PAINT ME TOO?"

"YES, I AM GOING TO PAINT THE SOFT COLORS IN YOUR CHEEKS, AND THE COLOR IN YOUR EYES."

THIS TWENTY-MINUTE RESTORATION WAS FOR IZZY, AND FOR ME. KNOWING WHAT WE EACH KNOW, WITH THE FREEDOM TO NAVIGATE IN MINDFUL WAYS, KNOWING WE CAN ASK FOR WHAT WE NEED, AND RECEIVE BOUNTIFULLY AND INTIMATELY IN EXPERIENCES THAT ARE MORE ALIGNED WITH HOW WE THINK AND PROCESS.

IT THE TRUEST SORT OF CONNECTION....SOUL-FOOD THAT SATISFIES....A LAYING OF BRICKS ON A PATHWAY WHERE ALL SORTS OF TRUSTWORTHY DIALOGUES CAN OCCUR. PRIMARILY, ITS ABOUT BEING SEEN....AND SEEING....WHICH HAPPENS TO BE THE KEY IN EVERY BIT OF OUR WELLBEING AS A HUMAN. 

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OPEN STUDIO WEDNESDAYS

OPEN STUDIO WEDNESDAYS

TONIGHT! (AUGUST 15TH)

6:30 TO 9:15 PM.

$20 DROP-IN FEE

HERE! AT THE RED BUNGALOW

A TIME FOR SKETCHING....PAINTING...TRYING!

I'LL HAVE AN ART PROMPT, OR YOU CAN BRING YOUR OWN WORK TO THE TABLE.

ALL SUPPLIES ARE PROVIDED...OR BRING YOURS' ALONG.

ICEY-SPICED TEA, AND A BIT OF LEMON TART THIS EVENING.

(MAYBE THE POET WILL SHOW UP!)

IT'S A CREATIVE, RESTORATIVE TIME FOR YOU....

JUST YOU!

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THE MORNING WORK

The Morning Work was actually "middle of the night" Work...as my mind brought a dozen good ideas to the forefront of a project. Reading through the lives, looking at the photographs, jotting down the important-pieces of 11 humans who are known to the world through the ART they created.

And...I think I really believed this before today, BUT in the last 4-hours I find I am calmly, firmly, and certainly convinced once again:

OUR ART SPEAKS THE NARRATIVE.

The facades fall...the secrets come forward...the fears are exposed...the convictions are conveyed.

In the poetry, the lyrics, the acrylics, the script, the aria, the concerto, the smooth pigment pools of the watercolor, the design, the chorus....

THEY SPEAK. Not one artist is exempt. In fact, the data is convincing! This is absolutely risky business...VULNERABLE to continue.

So - here's to the ARTISTS...

Who embrace their humanity! 

And the art therapists - who work to give voice through art because of what they know is true.

Here's to the children who know they feel "calm and happy" when they create. Its really about BEing...and its the stuff of wellbeing...the path to soul-nourishment. It's a bit of wonder, and has powerful implications for mindfulness...for humans of every age.

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Gift of a Song

When a human says, "There is a song...

You MUST hear."

And you do...and 

You hear it Very Well.

Then you hear it again...several times ~

and the depth of the words and meaning

goes deeper ...as a song can & ought, when someone 

sends you A Song.

Then ~ 

You Need to Paint...

 AMONG THE WILDFLOWERS    20"X24"   ART BY DANA ROSS / JULY 2018  

AMONG THE WILDFLOWERS    20"X24"   ART BY DANA ROSS / JULY 2018