It is summertime and I am back at work in the basement studio. Thinking, always thinking about what comes next. No work this Summer, just a lot of painting and preparation for another school year- the best one yet. I am better situating myself in the context of educational pursuit as art. I alongside my students must construct our own individual curriculum, relevant to each of our personal circumstances – an individualized education – a self constructed education. We must ask ourselves questions about what we hope to achieve - This Summer, with Peace and Joy in my mind I will paint about these things - For now and in the future, I want to be an inspirational force as well as a positive and memorable influence. This Summer I will paint everything I am out onto the canvas. All my preoccupations will be alive with me as I paint my way through the entire Summer……….AWWW YEAAAHH!!!
I like what I do in the world – I have a place that is my own and I make the most of what it is that I get to do – It’s more than contentment – It is a feeling of purpose and a sincere sense of meaning….is there anything better than that!? Near the conclusion of my ninth year of teaching – it occurs to me that I may retire as a career elementary art teacher….I say again, is there anything better than that!? There is nothing else that can top that for me. This is who I am. May I continue to grow and prosper in this pursuit and help to awaken the unique and limitless joy of learning in others. I have not felt this peaceful and at ease in far too long – it is good to fully realize and embrace your place in the world… I am an elementary art teacher – I always will be, this is who I am!
Don’t think about a thing in any kind of conscious way. Just let it all unfold without hesitation or question. Pure emotion – pure sensation - a serious and exuberant kind of joy. Record the totality of being in the moment. Youthful painters stand apart from all the burdens of art histroical context. How do you begin to reaccess that unique and timeless space of being alive? No more questions – Energy and enthusiasm in the presence of the present. Vitality is all there is - In the moment, this is all there is room for.
You don’t need to care about anything other than the moment. Everything still seems so curious and exciting to you. Like the way the colors mix and the water changes color. It all evokes such an elemental sense of awe. You are definitely in touch with something more real than almost any other painter alive today. There is a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face. You know completely what you are doing even when you have no way of explaining it. It doesn’t matter how you hold the brush or smear the paint around. You only listen to you impulses and your instincts. You were born knowing how to play and have fun. You were wired to figure things out in the most beautiful possible way. No one can call themselves an artist anymore than you. They may know all the theories and philosophies – but you have the vital magic of youth which lends its timeless perspective to every human endeavor. It is all so simple and painfully complicated to begin to understand how to be a kindergarten painter.
As artists and educators – we are researchers; refining the methods and meanings present in our pursuits – we seek not only knowledge, but the meaning of knowledge. There is too much at stake to let the market or even the curriculum decide the value present in our engagements. To a large extent, the curriculum is always hidden and waiting to be defined anew by each new participant – this is the definition of a constructivist education. Furthermore, the market has no claim to ownership concerning the ultimate value of art. We cannot let the institutions define or defile that which is beyond the scope of definition. Art is unlike any other body of knowledge, its epistemologies are forever bound up in individual engagements with the worlds of sense and perception. Those who would deny the cognitive dimensions of creative and artistic pursuit have yet to fully engage the propostion. All knowledge is not contingent upon a claim to truth – The limits of knowing must continue being pushed in all domains of human life. Beyond knowledge specific to its own content, Art poses propositional ways of knowing which shape and evolve the very culture in which we live. The fundamental nature of art is an investigation into how we as a species create and engage our individual and collective intellectual, cultural and spiritual lives.