Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ah Ha! moments and Holly update

Ah Ha! moments and Holly update

Do you know this woman?

Sometimes I wonder if the things I share in my journal make me seem like a simpleton, the things that seem like epiphanies to me may be things that those on my friends list have already experienced. But at the risk of seeming like maybe I'm slow at catching on to things I just have to tell you about this;

I'm reading a book called Drawing on the Artist Within, by Betty Edwards. Actually I've only read the first chapter but what I read actually moved me to tears. Many of you may have read this book and you are wondering, "what the heck could make someone cry in that book?"
Well, the first chapter is about the successive steps in the creative process, things that creative people of any kind, not just artists, go through to get to the final creation. The steps aren't new ideas they are, 1. first insight 2. Saturation (research) 3. Incubation (mulling over) 4. Ah Ha! 5. Verification (putting the solution into concrete form while checking for error and usefulness)
The part that moved me was that an American Psychologist Jacob Gretzels pointed out that creativity is not just solving problems of the kind that already exist or that continually arise in human life. CREATIVE INDIVIDUALS OFTEN ACTIVELY SEARCH OUT AND DISCOVER PROBLEMS TO SOLVE THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS PERCEIVED.
My favorite kind of art has always been the exploratory kind, I like to make drawings from squiggles, like to start a painting by just moving paint around randomly and "finding" my composition or subject, don't often have a preplanned composition. I've always known I was creating problems for myself and then solving them but I have felt like my approach was somehow less valid than other approaches, like maybe I'm just "messing around". When I read what this guy had said I had an AH Ha! moment and it brought tears to my eyes. I read it to Paul and he looked at me with that ... ummm, so? look in his eye, (not to be mean but he didn't understand). I finally realize WHY I work the way I do! It's so strange to have been working this way for years and to only now feel validated/understood in this way. Well to understand myself better is liberating! So I just had to share that!

On to other things. Holly moved into her new place on Sunday, managed to get a bed that night and I feel good about her being safe and somewhat settled. She is still not sleeping well, everything is so new and requires adjustments and so she struggles to get used to it all. Her words were, "Nothing is familiar at all, nothing besides Elton". (thank goodness she has him) She starts her new job at the library at school today- 9 to 5, I'm sure there will be a certain amount of stress with that too. She has to learn to use the public transportation system wisely. She was so homesick last night when I talked to her that I could tell she was fighting back tears. She is on a roller coaster emotionally and I think that is to be expected, she knows that too. So she's making great progress in her life there but it's a bumpy road so far. She had a painting and drawing class yesterday, the one she was most intimidated by and she had understood that it was painting with acrylics. Instead it is painting with oils and she has never painted with oils. Oh yeah, she's intimidated but she said she really liked the teacher and knows the class will be good for her. She also found out that she has to go this week and get some vaccinations which will cost her about $70 bucks (that she doesn't have) and she hates needles! There are a multitude of other things that are hard to get used to not the least of which is missing all the wonderful friends that are still here in Boise. So you can see, it's going to take a while to adjust and get through the preliminary upheaval. Poor kid, when she gets through this she'll feel like she's grown a lot!


Blogger moi said...

Betty Edwards is wonderful, isn't she? I'd forgotten about the first five things until you listed them. I remember reading those myself and thinking, "That's me! That's me! I really AM a creative person!" You bet I understand why that book can bring tears to someone's eyes! Too, too often we think we have to "be" a certain way or do things a certain way, not realizing that we are just US. And that's the most important thing of all, and to have it validated after literally an entire lifetime is just SO validating.

10:28 PM  
Blogger moi said...

Whoops. Got carried away with myself-- I meant to say "so self-confirming."

10:31 PM  
Blogger Sheila Hudson said...

It feels so good to know that someone else realized what I was saying and feeling about that book! Thanks so much. I'm reading it slowly because I don't have lots of extra time to read and because it's so interesting and I want to "get it".
Hey, I just looked at your profile and found out you are in Modesto, we used to live near there and my in-laws live in Waterford and have an almond ranch in Oakdale!

1:51 PM  

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