Julie Simon, a pre-school teacher and participant in my Arts Int grad course this summer wrote this beautiful reflection on the artistic process and what it means to her as a person and a teacher. She has graciously allowed me to share it with you here. Enjoy! ~EMP
What is the artistic process and what does it mean to you? How can learning about how you process things and learn be valuable to you as a teacher? To your students?
Okay….here is what I think the artistic process should be, ideally.
It’s a place…a safe place, calm, beautiful, evocative, ethereal or earthy…a haven. Sometimes I travel there alone and other times I take the hand of another and we journey together.
It’s a feeling…or many feelings…an open heart – ready to explore and receive the gifts that surround me and are within me. Brave, yet sometimes tentative and thoughtful. Excited, energetic, freeing, serene, or reflective.
It’s a thought…sometimes changing over time sometimes not. Light, dark, color, creation, shape, shapeless. Free flowing…
Being in touch with my own creative energy, giving myself space to explore it and let it flow can bring a sense of deep pleasure, release and serenity. Accepting that ultimately it is for me and is an expression of my soul – and does not necessarily have to be shared with anyone – helps to eliminate the tendency to try to please others. It is, of course, a reflection of myself at a particular time and there will be change, because I am constantly evolving as a person. This is an aha moment, in a sense, as it relates to children’s development. We are always witnessing the child’s growth at certain points along the path…if we are guiding them to their own heart center, with gentleness and appreciation for their individual gifts, then we are helping them develop and honor their own creative process.
Julie – I so very much love this post. You are so real here. I can tell that you love your students and that they get so much energy from you.
Thanks so much for your kind words, Elizabeth. As I re-read it I realize how much I opened my own heart as I reflected and wrote this brief response to your question. Of course, writing it as I was in the process of creating art, made a very big difference. It helped the feelings to flow. In fact, this is another aha moment…if creating art can help us get in touch with our emotions, isn’t that a true gift we can bestow on our students? I am so glad our paths crossed when they did…our time together was so enriching to me as a person and as an educator.
There – You just hit it on the head! That IS the true gift we can bestow on our students! YAY! 🙂
I love the way that you describe the artistic process. It is all of those things that you describe. You are right in that art helps us to get in touch with our emotions. As a school counselor I would like to use art more for that purpose. It’s another way to connect both with other people and ourselves as we get in touch with feelings we may not have even realized that we felt.