Sunday, April 5, 2015

Creativity Is Contagious...Pass It On

Don't you love being around creative people? I certain do. When I taught high school many years ago, I belonged to a group called the Math/Science Fellows. As the name implies, it was a group of math and science teachers from all across the country trying to learn a different way to plan a math/science curriculum. You wouldn't think this would be a creative bunch.  Just think back to the math and science teachers you had in high school. I would bet many those teachers put you to sleep. I might have been one of them.  But I was determined to make learning exciting, if not meaningful.  

So this group of math/science teachers were tasked to create curriculum that integrated math and science concepts and skills and had real-life applications. We committed to a two year program to learn how to get out on those skinny branches and try something new. It wasn't easy. But the whole experience had a life-changing impact on how I view education, even now. Once you let go of those long held notions about how things ought to be, you begin to see other possibilities. Being with those teachers, generating ideas, having a true dialog about teaching and learning, and creating curriculum and programs were the best learning experiences I've had in my life. So I truly believe in the quote by Albert Einstein that creativity is contagious. When you surround yourself with creative people, you catch a little of bit of that creativity too.  Even for math and science teachers.

So let's take a look at my art journal piece.  I began by randomly painting metallic acrylics on my pages.

The next was to use paint pens to doodle on top.

Since the quote was about spreading a contagion, what better image than someone sneezing? So I drew and wrote the quote with a black Sharpie.

Then I applied gesso to the negative space.

The process is called under painting. You create a background first, create an image, and bring out the image by getting rid of the negative space. This is a good excercise for me because it helps me let go of control. It's a very freeing experience not knowing exactly how a piece will turn out.

I finally painted the negative space with contrasting colors and shaded the image and texts to create the final piece you see at the beginning.

When was the last time you felt creative? When was the last time you went out on a skinny branch?


  1. Mornin', Angelcake. To answer your question, I feel creative all of the time. I just lack an outlet and the talent :D . I do appreciate others' creativity though. Thanks for sharing yours <3

    1. You definitely are creative, Deedles. I've never seen your artwork, but if you ever try it, I bet it would an abstract piece with lots of colors. Your mind is a beautiful thing!

    2. Yeah, finger painting! It would probably be therapeutic as well as quite messy. I'll leave the art to the artists and the snark to the snarkists and land somewhere in between.

  2. Hello Yukari!
    I really enjoy seeing the step by step process - you make this look easy! :)
    Not that I can create the beautiful art that you do but just seeing your creations is inspirational and I can feel how this could be contagious.

  3. Thanks Sara! Sometimes I get too focused on my creative endeavors that I forget to do other things like laundry and picking up my kids from school! Lol. It's all about finding that balance between wants and have-to's.

  4. I love seeing how you did this, I never would have thought of doing it this way! Great art, as always.