Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I've been reading about Autism lately. We recently learned that my granddaughter, Ila, has some form of it. I read "Emergence" by Temple Grandin first. I wanted to learn about it from the inside out. It was quite a relief.

It was suggested that we work with her doing art, so yesterday I went over to babysit armed with dropcloth, paint, brushes and paper. We painted for quite awhile until we ran out of paper. I just squirted out globs of washable tempera on the drop cloth and we made quite a mess. Bree caught a photo of Annika with a blue goatee. But we had fun and hopefully the pages will dry before the year is out.

I tried researching art therapy online. Quite disappointing. I suppose the term is pretty broad, but I couldn't seem to find general information, I found plenty of therapists, books, programs and schools, but I don't know what I was looking for, all I found were more questions. Why do therapists want to help you discover and live your dreams? Why is therapy viewed chronologically? Why is all of this up for sale? Why do we keep cutting art programs in public schools? If we know that art is theraputic, why don't we all make an effort to participate? Why is this culture so dead set against anyone getting an education that will make us more whole? And especially, why can't we all get this for free? Seriously, why do we not teach children how to draw? Surely for wholistic brain health this is necessary. Of course we have a real problem with the concept of health for free. Do we really prefer to pay three or four times more to clean up the mess that denial of healthcare creates?

Mind Full ness

There has been a lot going on in my head lately and I think I will have to break it into categories and do them separately or the sheer length of this post will make it unreadable. Chaos in my head usually whirls together at some point and starts sending darts flying at different targets. Sometimes it all comes back together.

I keep telling myself to collect all of my found objects together in one cigar box and when it is full, create something. So far, I've only been able to remember it. I pass up quite a few things when I am out walking, maybe I should keep a bag in my pocket. It would be fun to scan all of the items and play with them like Colorforms. Now I've set myself another task...

If you can get a copy of issue #28 of The Bear Deluxe it is the contemporary art issue. This is yet another fine Portland periodical (free). I've flipped through it quickly, mostly only looked at the first page because Alan brought it to my attention, but that was inspiring. It looks like random patterns, but there are words in it. So I filled up extra space on one of my journal pages with the smallest lines I could manage. It looks like sky to me, with small birds here and there. And sort of brings to mind the comics I have been reading. I love the drawing in comics and of course I think I can't do it, but I probably can if I would only try. I have been attempting to draw more lately, it feels meditative, and it feels beyond what I can find a word for, but I've been reading a book called "Creativity From Potential to Realization" edited by Robert J. Sternberg and others. Only Chapter 8 has given me what I have been looking for, which is a listing of 13 intuitve, imaginative processes (from Sparks of Genius, 1999 Root-Bernstein):
  1. Observing
  2. Imaging
  3. Abstracting
  4. Pattern Recognizing
  5. Pattern Forming
  6. Analogizing
  7. Empathizing
  8. Body Thinking
  9. Dimensional Thinking
  10. Modeling
  11. Playing
  12. Transforming
  13. Synthesizing
I am glad I found this book at the library since so little of it is what I was looking for, but I am so happy with this list and the subsequent explanation that I will probably be looking for Sparks of Genius next.