Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. - Rumi

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Black history month – honoring those who came before us

Varnette Honeywood
The women

Freedom is not free.  Anyone who thinks that has not read their history.
So many black American people died, were tortured, beaten, raped, hung and hurt so we black Americans today have the privileges we do.
If not for the civil rights movement of the 60’s things would be very different.  I cannot imagine having to sit in the back of the bus, not being able to use any bathroom I wanted when I needed to pee, having access to decent medical treatment or worrying about walking after dark.

Black folks have contributed so much to the world, as scientists, doctors, lawyers, business owners, poets, artists and much more.  Really the history books should put everyone in one book and acknowledge anyone’s contribution to making this world a better place. 

It never ceases to amaze me at the strength of black women.
I think of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, she was brave.  Living in those times was scary for anyone of color. 

I think of Martin Luther King’s words “I have a dream”.  It still gives me chills when I think of the depth of his words and the power they still hold. 

Life is definitely better for black people though, there will always be some struggle, I think that is the way of the world.  The way that we frame our challenges and struggles defines how we live our life.

I am proud of my heritage.  It is truly steeped in Americana.  Some of my ancestors were slaves; some of my ancestors were slave owners. 
Different races of people (the melting pot) is a part of what makes America, America.  That sounds odd, but think about it.  People from other countries come here because they want a better life.  People who wanted a better life started this country.  Some came willingly, others were forced and now we are all here, trying to work it out.

African people came over here and brought so much with them that is now apart of the fabric of America, foods, medicine, music, and much more.

There really shouldn’t be a month to celebrate black American contributions to America.  They should just be included. Until such time as all contributions are accorded equanimity, I am glad
Black history month happens and reminds me of where we came from.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The World of Art…the importance of creativity in a child’s life

Watercolor on watercolor paper

Recently while teaching art to one of my students, I reflected on the importance of creativity in a child’s life. 
What purpose does art serve in the life of the child: creating, exploring different media and learning about how to use art tools. Can that spark be kept alive throughout life?
As I watched my student be excited about the possibilities of creating her ideas, it made me feel proud to be part of the development of her life.
While many traditionalist art teachers will say children must learn perspective, color mixing, shading, who famous artists are, I say children should learn to enjoy the process of creating. They should learn how to use a plethora of media so that they can express their own ideas. It is important for them to understand technique with different media so they can learn how to manipulate it to create their ideas.
 It is important to introduce children to artists and different genres of art but each child should discover their own voice.
Often when I teach classes and I give free drawing time, time to doodle, relax the brain and some children have a hard time with that, asking me to tell them what to draw.  Their heads are so filled with memorizing numbers and formulas and spelling words.
Creativity is a gift we all have in some form.  It should be nurtured from an early age.
Our imaginations are free.  We can think, create, and interpret anything and all that we see around us.  Witness, the whole touch screen computer thing, and current technology.  It came from someone’s imagination, someone willing to explore, create and solve problems and suffer some failure.
Art is a creative conduit to solving problems, creating interesting new ways of connecting materials.  Children and adults should have this outlet, always. 
It makes me happy to see children expressing their point of view, and using the lessons that I have taught them.
One thing I have noticed, children like to get their hands busy, they don’t like it when I talk too much, they want to get on with the act of creating and exploring the media.
When I look at my students, I am often curious: what does their future hold?  Each one of them has the potential and possibility to do, be and create and make a meaningful contribution to the world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Let there be Love - Happy V day

Valentine's Day, it all began with some saint, a gazzzillion years ago, it has morphed into a consumer driven business, but really at the end of the day, show somebody some love.  Let some one know you care about them.  

Water color on watercolor paper

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Crooners – Musicans I love

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent”

Watercolor on watercolor paper

I love music.  I have eclectic tastes as probably do many people.
I have music for the gym, music for the car and driving, music to take a bath to, music to relax at home to and music to help me sleep.

What I am totally in love with right now:

In the gym – Flo Rida – Wild One, this just gets my heart pumping and makes me move my booty.  Kings of Leon – Sex on fire, this is a sure fire make me move more too.  To work hard and get a good sweat on the music has to be hot and pumpin’.  At least for me, I am not there to be lethargic.  I am there to optimize my time and work as hard as I can on my body.  I find Ne-yo so sexy.  I love his song “Closer” and any song he sings.  I don’t know why. AND I HAVE A RULE...No Gym music in my car, gotta keep it special.  So I have to work out to listen to it.

In the car – The Gypsy Kings – I love the flamenco guitar, this music transports me to a tropical place at sunset, having a marguarita and laughing and dancing with friends. It is so romantic, it is soft and relaxing and thus if stuck in traffic it makes me calmer.  I envision this beautiful Latino man like William Levy asking me to dance.

In the bath – A playlist of meditational music by Guru Singh and Snatam Kaur.  Meditational music to relax my brain, slow my heart, connect myself to myself, to remember the essence of who I am, what my mission is on this planet. To uplift my spirit and connect me to my divine self, this is my healing recharging time of day.
I have given what I have to all the little children in my care, busted my butt in the gym, and connected with the adults in my path and now must re-center myself to do it all again the next day.

Music is motivational for me.  It either calms me down or pumps me up.  I cannot live without it.  In my next life I hope to be an singer, even a back up singer.  Getting to use my voice as creative inspiration would make me  very happy.
Of course, I can go old school, I love Motown.  Who doesn’t love love songs!! The Four Tops, Supremes, Miracles, Tempations…. All sweet love music.  There is nothin’ like groovin’ down the road to some oldies.  “I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day…” – who doesn’t need a little bit of that!
And who can forget Stevie Wonder and My Cherie Amour…. another golden oldie.

Rock n’ roll, well I love classic rock.  Who doesn’t love Mick Jagger.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, too right on.

Maybe it’s all my creativity, but I just love music and could write more.