Friday, January 14, 2011
When I first found Zentangles (http://www.zentangle.com/), I had already been highly involved in finding and creating designs. I wasn't too sure where it would lead, but I was obsessed. I did start to put together a coloring book for grown-ups (I've talked about that previously) and folks who saw it really liked it.
Then I started teaching in an after school program that my church had put together. And I taught art. These days, most public schools don't have the money or time for Art Classes. It's too bad, because Art is learning to problem-solve, which is a skill we all need. So most of the kids had very little exposure to art of any kind. I shared my two great passions with them: polymer clay and designs. I will always regret that I did not discover Zentangling until after the program was closed. The kids would have Loved it. We did do tracings of our hands and then fill them in with designs like the ones above. And then I got them interested and in love with polymer clay. They created great things. Several of them were highly talented. I wish we could have continued the program. I wish we could start up the program in other schools.
I work from a stance that human beings are, by definition, individualistic and creative. No two of us are alike. No two of us see the world in the same way. Art helps us to express and share our personal visions. There is no such thing as a person who has no talent, no vision. I have taught retarded folks and have seen beautiful things evolve. I have worked with folks (adults and children) with ADD and HDAD (or is it ADHD? I forget.) and all sorts of other 'learning disabilities'. Inevitably, good things happened
I remember the story of a child who was listening to her older Uncle, who was talking about his new career at a University. The Uncle bragged that he would be teaching adults how to draw. The child was horrified. She leaned over and whispered to her Mother "You mean Adults forget how to draw?"
Yes, many of us Adults forget how to draw. Happily, we can learn again. Happily, we can learn for the first time. Happily we can each of us Do Art.