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Friday, January 08, 2016

Inspiring Thought for all Artists.... from Finland

'Sidewalk Beauties'        5x7     pastel      ©Karen Margulis
available $75
I find the best things browsing Facebook. I know it can be a time waster and I probably check my feed more than I should....but everyday I come across something of value. Everyday I see beautiful art, delicious recipes and adorable animals. But every once in awhile I come across a gem that stops me in my tracks. Yesterday was one of those days.

I clicked on an article about kindergarten children in Finland because I love Finland and my daughter is about to become an elementary school teacher. I was curious. The article discussed how Finnish kindergarten children were joyful because they had more playtime and less rigorous literacy instruction. They learned valuable skills through PLAY. Very different from most American children. A quote in the article grabbed my attention:

"Those things you learn without JOY you will forget easily"
old Finnish saying

How true this is!  It got me thinking about art and learning to paint. I know that when I am painting with a playful attitude I make all kinds of discoveries and connections. Take this week of daily oil and pastel studies. Oil painting is new and exciting. I set it up as a game. Every morning I wake up excited to play. What will I paint next? What will I learn? It is fun. I am playing and I am joyful. Like a Finnish school girl!

'Sidewalk Beauties'        5x7    pastel    $75
I have learned so much in just a week of consistent daily oil painting. Setting it up as a game and being part of a challenge is making it fun. If the old Finnish saying is true....the things I am learning, I will remember!

How do you learn best? Do you set yourself up to play more often? Make sure that when you paint....you do it with JOY!


NancieKay said...

I love your quote above: "Those things you learn without JOY you will forget easily". I'm a retired K-5 Art teacher and have sadly seen so much joy taken out of school learning. I hope I gave respite for my students when they came to the Art studio once week. Thanks for your inspiration...

Dotty Seiter said...

Karen, loved the content of your blog post about Finnish school children; it touched me in so many ways. Further, it is with such joy that I learn from your paintings and posts. Thank you! Dotty

ChrisD said...

I guess it depends how joyfully a teacher can provide "literary instruction", some of the most boring topics can be brought alive and made vibrant by a really good teacher. I have heard it said that visual aids for teaching today's children are extremely important and makes learning the difficult subjects less of a chore. Talking of vibrancy, the oils have it today! The pastel is gentle and hazy.

Adriana Guidi said...

Thanks for a great article Karen! Inspiring indeed!!

Susan E. J. White said...

Love your note about joy and the Finnish saying. Thank you for sharing!

robertsloan2art said...

Always! What a beautiful lesson! I relax and get into whatever I'm going to paint by mood of the moment and get excited about anything from materials to subjects. Currently I'm having fun sketching animals from life, new ones like horses and goats, familiar and beloved cats or birds. I've also got a thing for trees. i paint what I love and just found a renewed interest in medieval illumination and calligraphy yesterday. I just went to a Society for Creative Anachronism one-day event yesterday, saw some beautiful scrolls at court and in the Arts & Sciences competition... and got all stoked about researching and painting scrolls again. Celtic Knotwork and Renaissance illuminations, it's all fun.

I don't think I'd ever stick to just one medium or subject. Though cats are a theme and may show up small in the borders and illustration backgrounds! I could always bring it all together doing a medieval style gouache painting of a cat on a Clydesdale when I get to visit the Clydesdale!