Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Remembering that playing isn't just for kids...


I have been playing with Photoshop...it's such fun doing strange things to my own face!  Here I have morphed into a strange wood woman, a wild wood woman.  And speaking of wild, we took our little people to see Where the Wild Things Are on Monday.  It's a bit of an odd film, the characters and the costumes and sets are wonderful, the model fort and the fort Max and his monsters eventually build are glorious to behold.  But the story is...well, there's not much of it, and the monsters all seem to suffer from various forms of depression, which I'm not sure would make sense to small people, especially as at the end Max leaves them on their lonely island apparently as unhappy as when he arrived.  Having said that, they both seemed to enjoy it, and I came away with a strong feeling of the importance of PLAY, which is something we adults tend not to do anymore because we think it's silly, or unimportant, or too self indulgent for responsible big people.  When was the last time you built a fort?  Or imagined, and half believed, you could make a rocket that would actually take you to the moon?  It made me think about my approach to my work, that sometimes that sense of wonder and excitement gets lost in a perceived need to produce something that is 'proper art'.  I thought about the things that appeal to me, and often they are things that stir that childlike delight that hides deep inside.  If that is what I love, then it follows does it not, that I also love to MAKE those kinds of things, and that if I make things with a childlike sense of wonder and humour, then surely that sense of wonder will infuse the object or artwork, and will appeal to the child hidden deep inside others?  So I think...I need to stop THINKING quite so much, intellectualising and agonising over where to put the next stroke of paint, if I add a small dog, or a full moon, or a pelican in flight, what will the 'meaning' be, and so on.  I had some very wise advice from a very wise little person a year or two ago...sitting in my studio I must have been audibly umming and ahhing, and a little voice floated up the stairs. "What's the matter mummy?"  "Oh nothing sweetheart, I'm just thinking, and I can't decide how to paint this next bit," I answered.  Busy drawing herself, she replied (all of 6 years old), "I don't THINK mummy, I just DO!"

4 comments:

Jackie said...

Thank you for visiting my blog.
I have popped over here becasue you are a no reply blogger but I just wanted you to know I appreciate your comment. I also appreciate the value of playing. My little brooches and small pieces are my play. I enjoy every one, and they build my skills for future more 'proper' stuff.Happy New year.

A mermaid in the attic said...

Hi Jackie, lovely to hear from you...actually I have no idea what a 'no reply' blogger means...I'm new to all this and it's probably something I either have or haven't inadvertantly clicked in the Google Followers set-up! Though I am having a lot of trouble with it at the moment. Yes, the importance of play as a way of learning skills for bigger and more complex projects is something I'm learning too, I always think I should be able to jump straight into the big, 'proper' thing first, then get cold feet and don't do it because I'm afraid it won't measure up. Play is a good way to get past all that!

Morgaine said...

Wonderful post and gorgeous image!
Yes I agree we must never lose our childlike sense of wonder.

Debrina said...

I missed thos fantastic bit pf photoshopping, Cat! I'm dabbling myself - but you're leagues ahead!!

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