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Opening the mind up to creating good art

I’m always interested to hear about art, and psychology, and of course when the two are used in conjunction with each other, even more so. Earlier on today I happened to stop and have a chat with a neighbour and we exchanged plesantries about Christmas and families as women are wont to do at this time of year “Are you ready for Christmas then?” will always open a flood gate of response from any woman in December.

We talked about all generations of family and how they enjoy Christmas, and then got onto food, and being creative. She knows I am an artist, and mentioned about her son Oliver who has shown no interest in art or drawing and when he is learning with other children or on his own. She then told me that she had taken him to a “rhythm and art” session and explained how it progressed. There were two musicians in the room one with a guitar, and various objects in the room too. When Oliver picked up a red ball and rolled it, the guitarist played a tune that corresponded totally with the speed and length the ball rolled, so when Oliver rolled it fast, the music was fast, when it was rolled slowly the music was slow. The session went on for some time, music being the accompaniment to all they did, and at the end of it, the children were shown a large roll of paper laid out on tabstract emotionshe floor and encouraged to go along to it. There were lovely soft pastel crayons there with the paper and the children started drawing naturally, including Oliver who easily picked up a crayon and drew and drew, large flowing colours and shapes. Drawing stuff he had never shown any interest in before and obviously enjoyed doing. I was fascinated when she told me this, and questioned what he drew, was it specific things like houses, people, and animals? Or was it more abstract shapes like when you’re doodling? She said it was abstract shapes, nothing specific, and I smiled as I had presumed exactly that reply. The music had opened his mind up, to create the wonderfully flowing art. I told her with a smile that when I’m painting I have specific dance and rock music with a good solid beat  that I love to listen to that opens my mind up, and helps me to paint better, quicker, and work more on intuition than sitting there stilted in silence (like some artists do!). For me music adds to the sensual approach to art, all the senses open to making art and being involved in its creation… feel…. sound….taste……….smell….sight…….  And I told her about the time I went to a workshop and the tutor got the pupils to paint an image that related to one strong emotion. And then think of one, just one, colour that related to that emotion, and add it to our abstract sketches, that had really shown me the use of line, colour, and opening the mind up to depicting it.

So, I could totally relate to what she was telling me.

I smiled and said I wondered if Oliver would do it again, alone at home with her, with some music that has a good beat to it, a pop song he likes to dance to. She smiled and said she’d try it and see how he reacted to it.

The thing that I find absolutely fascinating about the tale of Oliver finding his hidden depths to creating abstract art is down to one thing in particular.

His age. He’s three.