Isn’t is amazing how our brains work? Something like 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts a day if you believe everything you read. Apparently a lot of these thoughts are said to be negative but I would like to believe otherwise. In fact I want my reality to be that my thoughts are mainly positive and a great deal creative! Like most things in life these ideals are a work in progress, she writes, smiling.
In actual fact I have been smiling a lot this week. It’s been a big and tiring week as school went back after a great summer holiday. But as I finished up my first year 12 lesson I was smiling. Very pleased indeed. I have the privilege of teaching a lovely group this year who are thoughtful, creative and mature. As they have worked on their exploration proposals over the holidays they have cemented their thoughts and directions for their artwork for 2012. During the lesson I encouraged them to speak about these ideas and so a great discussion and exploration ensued. We meandered through themes, subject matter, media and occasionally wandered of into the world of “teenagerness”. It was a brainstorming session, a development session and a brilliant time of clarifying progress.
Encouraging students to talk about their art (and others artwork) was not always at the forefront of my mind. I always knew it was a good thing to do and I love to talk…especially about all things creative and art wise, but have been hesitant to really allow it in my classes; wanting to stay in control etc etc. What has prompted me was chatting with a fellow art teacher last year whose exact words I cannot recall, I just remember the light bulb moment of the conversation. I remember thinking how I must keep up those discussions, and lo and behold, having done that I can see a definite improvement in vocabulary, ideas and confidence too.
The other situation that spurred me on to encourage my students to really discuss their work and ideas with each other was another fellow teacher who said “speaking out thoughts gives the thoughts life”. Wow, that wasn’t a light bulb, that was a bomb shell! As a Christian I have long-held the knowledge (and belief) that words matter and have power, but I was a little surprised at my reaction. But this lovely lady is so right! Speaking out our thoughts gives life to the thoughts and then they don’t often go away. I suppose this is a good thing if the thoughts are positive and creative. One doesn’t want to lose those thoughts. It’s just the negative ones, that hopefully we really don’t have too many of, that we want to forget.
So why was I smiling as I finished up the class? Because one particular student said at the end of all the discussions and chatting, “thank you, that was really helpful”. And she will go away inspired to pursue her ideas further and begin her discovery of making great artwork. I am so glad that our discussions have given life to her thoughts.
Here is some inspired work that began as mere thoughts and now have life in visual form. They began as a conversation about the Urban Landscape and using the iPad as an art tool. Now, there’s a future post – iPad art?!
What thoughts do you want to give life to? Positive and creative? Let me know.