Thursday, April 8, 2010
the mess makers
do kiddie materials ever find their way into your artwork? or do you shake everyday objects out of their sobriety and turn them into unorthodox art tools? every time i walk into our local arts-based preschool the kids are creating with pretty much anything but brushes, and i'm amazed by what they make and how they make it. they paint with toy truck wheels, mini toilet plungers, bottle brushes and broccoli. they use old record players as spirographs, table salt for resist, and my favorite, the pantyhose balls stuffed with sand. the kids dip them into paint, climb up on a stepstool and toss them onto the floor with a satisfying SPLAT. the school emphasizes process versus product - the kids are never pushed to finish a specific project or make something a certain way, very à la the fabulous carmen torbus: a free, open, colorful, joyful approach to creating. it's the kind of atmosphere where you can hear willy wonka saying "we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams."
when i snapped out of my long creative dry spell i thought for sure this would be my approach, but as i'm nearing two years of everyday art making, i've found that my way is totally different and it has surprised me. simple pen-to-paper seems to be my mainstay, the method that resolves things in my head and makes it quiet again. it might seem a bit uptight, but i'm a disorganized person by nature and i make messes of everything on a regular basis. so in my art, harnessing and processing have turned out to be more soothing to me than letting loose, at least for this phase in my life. having said that, i love being on the periphery of paint and color flying. there's a lot to be learned from observing children in action, especially when i'm not the one cleaning up after them. which is why i send mine to the arts center instead of letting the free for all take place in our house.
off now to clean my keyboard. double chocolate brownie all over it. like i said - i'm a mess maker at heart.
Posted by aimee