Month: January 2017

Lead Me to Still Waters

As a child I looked forward to trips to Fargo, North Dakota and spending time with my grandparents. Sometimes these trips were with my parents and siblings and sometimes I got to go solo. My parents had many friends who had left Fargo for Minneapolis. For us children our mom and dad could send us to Fargo with another family who were going to there for their own family visit.

My Grandmother Erickson was a staunch Scandinavian Lutheran.

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Studio Habits of Mind

“When we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

                                                                                                                                                         -Wendell Berry

This week, working with a team on an upcoming teacher workshop, we got into a conversation about “Studio Habits of Mind.”  I won’t go into the conversation but to note that it got me thinking about my own studio habits of mind when I work in the studio.

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I have been taking a drawing class that has reminded me again about the importance of process. The most important rule for guiding children’s art activities is that the process is always more important than the product. This is true for adults as well. Process includes the space to explore art materials with freedom and without pressure. Process includes the freedom to experiment and enjoy the feeling of creating without being concerned with the outcome or the product.

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The Nature of Learning

How students learn was always fascinating to witness in the classroom. It was an engaging and motivating question when planning curriculum or problem solving a student’s lack of engagement in content. The question was a linchpin for 30+ years in the classroom.

I realized that the guiding principles for learning were as important for the classroom as for today with my own learning. I realize I need to use these principles as I continue to learn in the studio or learning in various art related endeavors such as selling work or having a website.

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Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk: and Other Truths about being Creative.

I just finished reading a fun book about the “inner critic” that plagues us all in different ways. It was written by Danielle Krysa. The illustrations by artist Martha Rich are fun and just in themselves chase away the inner critic with their whimsy. We all have an inner critic. The inner critic surfaces when we draw or paint, entertain a new idea or set a goal that is a push for us.

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