Sunday, August 16, 2009

Painting on Cardboard

I had a painting instructor once who required his students to paint on scrap pieces of cardboard. What's more, each assignment was to be painted on top of the previous one. It was a great exercise and it taught us to focus on the process instead of the product. Our professor knew that a pristine new canvas and expensive paints could be intimidating and might even cause us to "play it safe" in our creative experimentation. Afterall, we wouldn't want to waste such precious materials.
How good and, indeed imperitive, it is to set aside time and resources to give ourselves permission to experiment and learn without the pressure to produce a great masterpiece. We must be willing to be less than impressive. We must be willing to have nothing tangible to show for our efforts.
This is creativity for creativity's sake and it opens our hearts and our minds to so many wonders. So go ahead and have some fun. Try something new and just enjoy the process.


  1. When I was teaching, I used to look for different kinds of medium for my kids to paint on. Cardboard was one of my favorites. I also liked paper towels, sea shells, and pumpkins. What a great memory!

  2. No formal training here, so I just pick up materials & take a stab. EVERY attempt is a learning process for ME. Hmmmm... I think I've got a spare pizza box around here somewhere I can use for practice ;-)

  3. I've been enjoying some of Elizabeth Zimmerman's writing. She was talking about learning to knit and what to do with all of the practice samples. Then she says "And what of the musicians practice? It just disappears."


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