Monday, May 07, 2007

Intuition and Flexibility - the Giraffe Story

It was this spring that I got invited to participate as an artist in a local elementary school. My job was to help the class of grade 2 students experience making a piece of individual art as well as help groups of students make a project together that could be sold to raise money for their school playground.

The process of this art was one that I enjoy - applying acyrlic paint in the primary colors to a canvas. Then, one layers more and more paint. The result can be an astonishing assortment of color and shapes. The process then invites the artist (s) to 'see' something in the art that they wish to develop or bring out. In one of the group projects the 6 children involved saw an animal. At first they wondered if it should be a camel, but then they decided on a giraffe. I am not a very accomplished artist and I didn't know how to help them create this giraffe. They watched me full of hope- I was the 'artist'- surely I knew what to do. So, I tried. I thought it looked absolutely horrible! But because the children had so much faith in me, I could not give up. In the end, this Giraffe became one of my favorite paintings from the experience and I bought it myself. I found out the the giraffe is a symbol of 'intuition and flexibility'. This painting is on display in my home as a wonderful symbol to me of the faith & intuitive knowing of a child and as an invitation to be flexible regarding how I face a task or a challenge.

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