How far down can you dig to find what you are looking for? It seems a very long way down! In the last few weeks I've been discovering what lies under the surface of 'me.' Discovering strength through struggles and gritty determination. I like to tell my kids that everything that's hard or scary is worth it in the end because it builds character. So here I am, looking down at the root of the problem trying to build copious amounts of character! There's dirt and leaves and a bit of rubbish scattered at my feet. I start digging...with my hands (for effect), and there beneath me is a tangle of veins winding down into the earth, twisting and branching everywhere, in every direction away from me. These roots mimic what's going on above me but they, unlike the wind swept tops, are quiet and strong and still. These roots below me are my beginnings, my foundations, my fundamentals, my starting point.
So, at this stage I get my pencils and paints out and scream 'liberation!' Finally after four weeks of worrying, I have the confidence to begin researching through my mark making. It's OK not to be doing what I normally do....no guilt, I can do anything, there are no limits, dig deep! That's one of the vital elements of learning through art and it's something that I know could be described with one fabulous word, but I haven't discovered it yet!
Feeding your mind through exploring theories and methods of practice enrich the whole process too. It's like someone giving you a shovel to help you dig.
Here's a quote from a reading about process and practice theory....described by Eisner (2002):
In the process of working with the material, the work itself secures its own voice and helps set the direction. The maker is guided and, in fact, at times surrenders to the demands of the emerging forms. Opportunities in the process of working are encountered that were not envisioned when work began, but that speak so eloquently about the promise of emerging possibilities that new options are pursued. Put succinctly, surprise, a fundamental reward of all creative work, is bestowed by the work of its maker. (p7)