Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Creative Self

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
Pablo Picasso

While the art of children lacks technical sophistication, it more than makes up for that in exuberance, and unrestrained expression. My two daughters always had art materials nearby while they grew up. They both attended a Waldorf School that encouraged artistic expression and honored the creative self as much as the analytical. Over the years, they both produced reams of drawings and paintings, and delighted my eyes. Most of the art is gone, but I have kept some. Two of my favorites are the subject of this blog. Both were done at the age of about eight years. Both are clear and profound enough that I use them occasionally for meditating.

Watercolor on paper, by Sarah Boone
The first is a watercolor by my daughter Sarah. A beautiful, full sun glows over a serene landscape, while a warm sky embraces the earth. The earth is full of life, and trees grow on the rolling hills. Within the earth is a cobalt blue cavern; strong, cool and comforting. Within this cavern is a white room of purity, with one side warm and the other cool. A lone woman sits in contemplation on the cool side. She is in a red dress, and her hair is the color of the sun above her that she cannot see. Maybe she does not need to see it with her outer eyes, for this picture is of an inner world of bliss and harmony.

Colored pencil on paper, by Naomi Boone

My oldest daughter, Naomi, (b. Jan. 11, 1980 - July 5, 1999), using colored pencil on paper, did the second image.
We are standing in a garden, in a magical realm of light and joy. Flowers bloom all around, and fresh green grass is under our feet. In this paradise, someone has built a gate to the outer world. A trellis arches over this passage, and amid a myriad flowers a red bow has been woven throughout, seeming to tie a knot of happiness at the top. Looking at the placid scene beyond the garden, we see a bright and radiant sun, softened by fluffy white clouds drifting past. On a gentle hillside, a horse is resting in the grass, basking in the sun. Someone has tied a red ribbon around his neck, much like the red ribbon on the trellis. A breeze blows over the hills and the ribbon flutters, but the horse is calm. Everything is serene . . . nothing is lacking.

From just these two pictures, a book can unfold. And this is the power of imagination.

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