Life Is Like a Canvas: Freedom of Creativity in 3 Easy Steps

When is the last time your took a leap of faith, not knowing exactly how your choice was going to turn out?  Are you willing to “go with the flow” and learn as you go?

 13 year old work inspired by Henri Mattise cut-outs (arteascuola.com)

13 year old work inspired by Henri Mattise cut-outs (arteascuola.com)

I took that leap a year ago when I started a business not knowing all the answers (still don’t) but I had a vision and I didn’t want to let that vision go.

My vision is to empower individuals and families through the process of art. Integrating character development with art exploration to think creatively and deal with abstract issues, and helping participants (and myself) to learn to trust our own abilities and celebrate our diversity through art. The freedom to express ourselves on canvas!

When I say freedom, I do not mean freedom of speech or many of the other freedoms we are granted. I mean the freedom of making choices and these choices resonating with your values and skills and having the courage to express it.

 Henri Mattise

Henri Mattise

Every artist begins with a blank canvas, needs to take that leap of faith to draw, paint or cutout their vision, be engaged in positive problem solving and challenge their assumptions. Henri Mattise one of the great artist of our times suffered from duodenal cancer limiting his mobility the last decade of his life. “Yet with the help of several assistants, Matisse began to express himself using colored paper and scissors, transitioning into one of the most creative and innovative periods of his life.” His cutouts are not intended to bring the complexity or seriousness of art hindered by limitations.  They are playful, colorful, light-hearted  and fun displaying an uninhibited creative freedom.

Everyone can make a work of art and be engaged in the process. At the end there is a visual representation of your inner attributes reflecting not only what you see but who you are.

Remember the famous line from Forest Gump “life is like a box of chocolates.”? Well I like to say life is like a blank canvas. Everyday begins with a blank canvas making choices in our actions and behavior, and taking a leap of faith. Knowing that at the end of the day we will have created a picture that can be celebrated or one that learns from the mistakes and willing to try again.

Now I understand this isn’t always so easy. But if we can remember art and life can be done everyday in 3 simple steps than it will be the start of a beautiful piece of work.

 Jean Frank-Stark

Jean Frank-Stark

  1. Stop and think: Every artist will stop and see their subject in different angles being mindful of the colors, shapes and details.  This should also be true of our actions. Stop and think how your actions will affect not only you but the people around you.
  2. Clarify your goals: Sure there will be days that artist go through an “artist block” and life present those blocks as well.  But if you have a goal in mind then it is more likely you will reach it instead of just staring at the road blocks.
  3. Choose: Make a decision. Once you make the decision don’t turn back. Be engaged in positive problem solving. Art is about making mistakes but sometimes a new picture that you never imagined occurs because of that mistake.  Same is true for life.

You don’t have to be a great “artist” in order to explore with art and tap into your creativity.  It does not take an innate skill that one is born with. It does take the willingness to be playful with your thoughts. At the end you have a masterpiece that you can admire and remember that you created something out of nothing with determination, perseverance and patience.

Interested in reading more on Henri Mattise and creativity? Click on the links below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-neumann/creativity-_b_1576283.html

http://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/focused/5-steps-to-good-decision-making/

http://www.nyunews.com/2014/10/30/matisse/

http://cubmagazine.co.uk/2014/06/striking-simplicity-matisse-tate-modern/