Thursday, 6 December 2012

Fostering Creativity and Free Thinking in Art

When we decide to take on the title of 'artist' we now accept the role of presenting our hearts and emotions for everyone to see.
A true artist paints from the depths of their soul, and goes to those places of inspiration that cant be seen by the naked eye.  It can be a hard road, it can be a happy road, but none the less is a less traveled road.

Art is not about how many classes you can attend and complete, its about how many classes is life you can complete and then relate visually to all to see.  That is the truth in art.  If a patron to a gallery stands for more than three minutes trying to understand the visual you just presented to them from your soul, then you have accomplished engaging their minds into trying to understand another human being and how they may see something different than you do. It develops empathy.
Fostering Free Thinking and Expression in art for children and adults is essential to emotional and mental growth - to developing that empathy towards another.

Art is not about giving an assignment and production for an exhibition.  Art is about celebrating
the diversity of the artists and presenting works for exhibition.  Any thing less removes the human component of the art and turns it into a managed factory of humans who just happen to be able to paint.

A friend sent me a saying that artists were dangerous because they accept or try to understand everyone. It may be true.
There is nothing more detrimental to the human spirit as putting limitations on their development.

Laura Lea C

‘The human spirit is in prison. Prison is what I call this world, the given world of necessity… man is not only of this world but of another world; not only of necessity but of freedom … the essential in artistic creativity is victory over the burden of necessity.’ Berdyaev, The Meaning of the Creative Act


  1. Hi Laura
    I agree with you that the goal of the artist is to express individual feelings and reactions to what surrounds us in life. The possible danger with an artist becoming part of the eternal workshop or class scene is that they can be inundated with various styles, techniques, opinions, class 'projects' and find they never truly discover their own style, or what they are trying to express personally thru their art. I've had students in the past who became afraid of making a brush stroke without asking me first what to advice was to learn to listen to their own inner voice and stop coming to classes. Producing clones does not help the world of artists or art. Art groups, even with the best intentions, who assign projects for exhibitions, must realize that this takes away time for artists to concentrate on their personal work. I understand if a project is undertaken for a fundraiser for instance, that this can be part of the overall demands on an artists' time. But the artist must be careful not to deplete their studio time for too many of these 'outside' projects. Time in the studio is precious, and time to make our personal art is to be guarded with extra care.
    Perhaps for those who seek the art club projects, or the continuous workshop or class scene are seeking something other than the expression of their art? The social aspects cannot be denied. The life of an artist is a solitary one that inevidably needs feedback and other human contact to balance and survive.
    Personally I dislike the 'theme' process for a group exhibit. Altho I know it can inspire and nudge those who may need the encouragement. But for myself, I find it leads me down a side-trail and off my personal creative path. Guess we need to know when to say no?
    The idea of 'group' painting (be it workshops, classes, art clubs etc) seems to fall into a social catagory for me, not unlike the coffee club, or book club. It fills a purpose but I cannot, personally, think 'good art' comes of it. Good art (whatever that is)comes from hard work, brain wracking contemplation and analysis, deep perception and silence. As in life, there is a time when the fledgling must leave the group nest and paint alone. Doesnt mean we cant visit our art freinds and family, just that we learn to think and work on our own.
    If we are in that human spirit prison that Berdyaev talks about, it is solitary confinement. Art is about thinking and doing, not about drinking coffee and chatting.
    Having said all this, I do encourage artists to meet, talk, share and exchange ideas. Then go back to their studios and express their own individual and unique art.
    Lin Souliere

  2. thank you so much for your insight Lin. I also feel that once the artists are corraled and given subject matters to produce, they are now loosing the ability to explore the problem solving in their creativity and instead are now just pumping out pieces for the sake of doing so. Art needs to be an process of exploration or I feel we loose what art was meant to be in the first place - a method of expression. I observed perfectly wonderful artists paging in catalogues for ideas instead of searching inside themselves. Its a hard line to straddle and justify for personal growth. LLC


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Laura Lea is a painter and photographer living in New Brunswick. Follow her on Facebook!