One of my most favorite quotes of all time came from the mouth of the great artist, Pablo Picasso. "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." And although I have claimed this quote for myself, I don't think I truly understood the message behind the words, well at least until now.
During a conversation I had with a dear friend of mine, who happens to be a brilliant floral designer and artist, we came about the subject of "the fear of facing the blank canvas." I told him that although I was driven to be "creative" I was frustrated by the fact that I couldn't produce anything, or rather that it took FOREVER to come up with an idea. With his calm, soft rumble for a voice, he said, "You know, it's the times when I approach a canvas and say to myself that I'm just going to experiment and have no expectations. And you know, when I approach any project with that frame of mind, my best pieces are created."
I took in what he said and realized that that is exactly what that quote was conveying. Children have no fear when the crayons and paper are laid out in front of them. All they see is color and an opportunity to let their imagination spill out. When the art and craft supplies are brought out, there is usually excitement in the air, as the kids clap their little hands together and shout out their joy for this chance to create. You see their minds working as groups of circles and lines are formed, colored brushstrokes overlapping. I don't believe any of them are concerned whether or not their art piece is going to be sold or put up to hang in an art gallery. They, very simply, create. Not a worry. Not a care.
So I took this frame of mind with me when I was invited to accompany my best friend Joani to a pottery party with some other ladies, most of whom I had never met before. The place we went to was a little studio called Brushfire Pottery in Green Hills. The walls are lined with shelves full of different unfinished pottery pieces to paint. With a small studio fee, you buy the piece you want to paint and once you've done that, you leave it with them to finish with a clear glaze and firing. After a week, it is ready to pick up. Well, I found exactly what I wanted to paint as soon as I got there. A teapot. Go figure. I knew what I wanted, and with it being Autumn, I wanted my colors to reflect that. I grabbed my colors and went to town, practically oblivious to the fact that there were other people there. I brushed on my colors, starting first from the top and working my way to the base. Then I saw an opportunity to use a loofah to dab brown speckles onto my piece. FINALLY!! I was filled with confidence and excitement! I was determined that I was going to have fun! I didn't try to analyze the outcome of my teapot, or give a care as to what the others thought. I think the fact that with glazes, since you don't see the results right away, this was probably a good thing. It meant that I had to have faith that whatever I created was still going to look awesome. And it does. I love my little teapot!!
I learned a valuable lesson that night. Every child is an artist. We are still that child within. Sure, not everyone is a Picasso, a Monet, or DaVinci. But we all can create, all it takes is forgetting all your cares. Don't worry about anything. Simply grab your colors and go to town with them!! You'll be surprised AND delighted at the outcome. I know I did! ;o)