Art & Intuition / by JW Harrington

Reading through a few artists' blogs, I realize that most artists, like most people we know, are hell-bound toward attempts at rationality.  The positions and decisions that our friends, children, and leaders arrive at may seem highly irrational to us, but most of us are eager to "rationalize" everything we do.  So, artists who teach -- especially who teach beginners -- have to get folks to focus on creativity, on process.

Angela Wales Rockett (Painted Crow Studio) focuses her students on "intuitive painting -- creating without expectations."  Sandy Bricel Miller (Red Ochre Studio) has told me time and again how difficult it is to get adult students beyond their disappointment at the results of their hard efforts to re-create what they see.  (Isn't that what a camera is for?)  Amy Bryan (Amy Bryan Visual Arts) notes how her sixth-grade students are much more open to their own creativity than her students in higher grades.  I'll bet most sixth graders clamp down on their creativity over the course of the year of being psychologically pummeled by their seniors in middle school.  

While artists of all disciplines know the importance of rationality, it seems we find that our role includes getting others to own their creativity, spontaneity, and even irrationality.