I feel particularly blessed that my new school has an Art and Discovery Studio. It also has an Artist in Residence who comes in twice a week to support the students in discovering the art in themselves and the beauty in their world. This studio is the vision of Maggie (the artist) and Colleen (a teacher at our school) and it is an absolute gift to all of us.
Attending the sessions with Maggie, I learn as my students learn. I learn by watching students work, listening to Maggie’s guiding words and observing the introspective quiet in really looking and appreciating.
“What is beautiful to you?” “What do you notice?” “What story do you want to tell in your art?” These are the questions Maggie asks.
“Play.” “Let it be messy.” “Delight in what you might find.” “There is no right. There is no perfect.” These are the permissions she offers.
I know I see beauty in the natural world. Colour, contrast, change intrigue me.
I am influenced by the bold and bright of fall’s changing colours and the minute detail of the lines in a fading bloom.
What story is inside? What truth? What consistency?
Here it is harder to see. Lines are blurry. We can’t rely on our senses. We must trust out gut. Learn to be still and focus on the parts that speak loudest. Dig deep through the superfluous distractions. Prepare to be both surprised and comforted by what is found.
This week, I celebrate that I did go looking. That I think I found some things. Remembered them more than discovered. Felt reminded. Trusted in knowing.
In a new place, it is easy to forget who we are. It is tempting to doubt that it matters. Feeling misunderstood and a little lost and turned around happen quickly.
What is beautiful to you?
What do you notice?
What story do you want to tell?
These questions I hold close right now as I give myself time to know. Permission to be. License to struggle.
Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community!
Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.
I sometimes felt art was the added part of learning that we did well at my school. I enhances the learning through looking, and looking well, just as you’ve written, Carrie. How wonderful that you and your students have such a great art teacher to help that noticing. Love seeing what’s going on in your teacher life and in your own life. Thanks!
It is one of my favourite things at my new school!
This work reminds me of the Opal School. Are you aware of their work? http://opalschoolblog.typepad.com/ Asking us to notice and honor what we find beauty in is such a gift. I’m so glad you are finding and rediscovering your way in your new school. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and pictures. Your words always enrich me.
Much appreciated Julieanne. I would love one day to visit the Opal School.
The line, “What story do you want to tell in your art?” really got me. How so very lucky for your students (and you!) to have the opportunity to work with an artist as a mentor. Your words remind me how so very intertwined all creative endeavours are, each nurturing the other. I hope you have a great week, Carrie!
Loved this celebration. Loved the pace, the voice, the mood, the questions. I wished to be there in person, to experience what your students and you experience.
I wish you could be here too. It is pretty amazing.
What story is inside? What truth? What consistency? These questions are the lenses through which to see (or attempt to see) truth. What a wonderful school to offer such a program!
We are very lucky. And . . . there is some private $$ through donations that make it possible. Never would be funded otherwise. Which is sad.
Love your conclusion, “I give myself time to know. Permission to be. License to struggle.” We all need this permission and it takes a creative heart to open up to the possibilities and the discomfort of not knowing. I want to take that art class, too.
It is a wonderful class to experience.
Love this exploration you made through art. And such a lovely sharing with us of the journey.
How wonderful. I sometimes fear that the arts are slowly disappearing from our schools and our classrooms, so it’s inspiring to see young ones exploring, learning and growing through art. I wish all schools had an Artist in Residence – what a great way to highlight the importance of art, and to reinforce the idea that art is worthwhile and has value in and of itself.
Yes, agreed with everything you say here!
Carrie, you noticed your surroundings, wondered, played and observed your students-these are all great celebrations. I ask you that you offer to my Autumnventure Gallery your beautiful fall photo and the words you used to describe the scene above and below the photo. The invitation to the gallery is at the bottom of http://beyondliteracylink.blogspot.com/2016/11/nature-colors-autumn.html. I hope you join in.
Sorry to have missed this Carol. Too busy and not getting my act together!
The photos of your kids’ art inspire me!
Aren’t they talented!?