Getting started

I worked through the exercises in the  introduction to Creative Arts Today. Drawing and writing are my perhaps the expressive forms with which I am most comfortable, but—as must be the case with most folks—I’m inspired by everything around me.

In particular, I get a lot of my deepest inspiration from books (poems, novels, short stories, letters, self-help, children’s literature), storytelling and philosophical podcasts, music and film. Now that I’m back living in Paris, I also have access to some wonderful museums and galleries. I’ve noticed I sometimes struggle to cite my influences in conversation, and this course (particularly the learning (b)log) is a good opportunity to document the art I see and really put words to how it moves through my mind. Things tend to get a bit frenetic in there, so mind-maps (aka spilling things out on a page) are my friend. In my physical learning log, I drew up a quick one to note the people and work that is circling me these days.
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Perhaps because I have a tendency toward chaotic, non-sequential thinking, I like to create ritual around my work. Deciding where to start is always a tedious and fearful experience. In the end, I sat down and wrote (quickly) about the journey that brought me back to art. That writing is glued to the second page of my learning log, and jogs through some of the pivotal thinking and events that happened to me from 2010. Below that is a postcard cut-out of some work by a textile artist (Bleu Tango) whose studio is in my neighbourhood and who draws beautifully and has a light-hearted approach to original and quirky designs. In only a few interactions, I’ve learned a lot from this woman and feel energized by her approach to fashion.

Finally, I wrote out the course’s learning objectives and did some brainstorming around the themes of time and place in Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, just to practice articulating my feelings about an aesthetic experience. I was deeply moved by this film—it’s so sad and dark at times that you can’t even cry, but also punctuated with moments of wry humor, calming, sweeping pans of a rolling blue sea with a little boat tottering along the waves, and watery, haunting music by Lesley Barber.

Exercises 4 and 5 of the course introduction had me thinking first about Space, Time, Motion, Green, a mixed-media piece by Izabella Godlewska de Aranda, then drawing up a weekly study schedule, as shown.

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