|"Inside Out - discovering what's inside and bringing it out"|
“Each of us has a spark of life inside us,
and our highest endeavor ought to be
to set off that spark in one another”.
as most of you probably know by now, i am the fortunate recipient of a grant from the kenneth a. picerne foundation which allows me to work with a group of women every week, teaching them creative expression, journaling and art journaling in particular. my project is called "inside out".
i knew this would end up being a huge stretch and learning experience for me. i have not taught much in the way of art… and every week i need to come up with a themed lesson and activities that are not only relatively simple and fun but meaningful as well.
i jot down ideas all the time – inspiration is literally everywhere, but i don’t plan each week’s activities until the previous lesson is finished. i want them to evolve and build on whatever happened in our time together.
|sometimes we take photo-walks|
the group is constantly changing. only 1 girl who was there in the beginning is still with me. often there are new participants, and many times they don’t last in the program for more than a week, due to all kinds of circumstances and situations.
when i first conceived of this art journaling idea, i thought if i could just make the journals and get the materials into the hands of needy women with a few prompts, they would take the ball and all would be well. but i’m learning how important the consistency and longevity is. every week. rain or shine. good mood or bad. that’s what has the greatest impact.
i’m also learning the great value of acceptance. these women have been through so much. they haven’t always made the best choices. but during our time together, there is complete acceptance and i am always amazed at what they are willing to share.
i’m also blown away by the diversity of the creative spirit! i throw an idea out there and either provide an example or a demo and the girls take it where they want to – always different, always interesting and always beautiful!
seeing these women grow and start to show their own inner sparks is s a very rich experience that i am lucky to be involved in... and it's getting better all the time!