Painting Like A Child

Today’s challenge: I am preparing a workshop for tomorrow entitled, “Play the Wrong Note: Daring Adventures in Learning, Failure, and Creativity”. The most important pieces of preparation were my art-making activities for today.

First, I experimented with a 10-minute collage, using 2 minutes of image collecting (30 seconds per magazine) and no scissors.

IMG_3661Then I sat down and made an outline of all the ideas I have for the presentation. My bag of tricks, so to speak. Of course, the real presentation will be created from full presence in the moment in front of the people who show up…an improvisation.

So the best preparation was to paint like a child. In perfect timing, my mom sent a picture of a painting my niece had done when she was 6 or 7.


By Chloe Chu, age 7

And then I tried to copy the beautiful simplicity of it:


By me, today

Try this some time. It’s interesting to notice how much judgment is built in to being an adult. What 6-year-old worries about wasting leftover paint, getting out another brush to use, whether there is white paper showing, and whether the green is the right color? Exactly.

It was a good warm-up for today’s painting, which surprised me:


“Island”, 12″x14″ acrylic on paper

Started out playing with colors, ended up reminding me of an island in Hawaii. Or somewhere else I’d love to visit in a dream.

Also this morning I played with adding pastels to the mono print I had made at the Djerassi artist retreat day. I am kind of enjoying the mystery of it:



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