I was encouraging (nagging at)my afternoon students to work on and enter an upcoming local show following the THEME "In the Garden."
When this question came up in class, I had to stop and THINK (with out hurting myself). After years of creating and teaching, somethings come more easily for me than for others ... I had to force myself to slow down and THINK about how I come up with ideas.
I presented this exercise, hoping to help my group of students today and I thought I would share it here. It is nothing revolutionary, but it works.
We started by reviewing the dates and cost of the show. I discussed the possibilities of original work depicting a small, intimate corner of a garden. Of course I am thinking flower not veggie ... but this will work for any topic or theme.
This exercise is fun in a group but will work by yourself (I do it all the time) ... it is the old task of brain storming ... list everything that comes to your mind for the theme and write it down, add to it when ever you think of more. The theory behind this type of listing is that one idea leads to another and another.
"Flowers" was the first term shouted out and I quickly stated that was a list on it's own ... kind of like Column A. So we continued to work on Column B:
"dirt and rocks" ... some one giggled at this obvious idea but I said "that is great, everything goes on the list ... think about rock gardens, rocks as ornaments, as decoration"
bugs, bees and butterflies,
reflective balls, gazing balls,
tools, hoe, rack, shovel,
old chair, seat, bench,
fountains, ponds, sprinklers,
bird houses, feeders,
Shepard's hook, wind chimes, wind socks,
japan tranquility garden
with this one I closed the brain storming session with a compliment on their success and a challenge to "DO" the tranquility garden!
Now the fun, pick up your pencil and divide your paper into workable spaces, keep the thumbnail sketches small and quick.
Think about the shape of a flower you like and two or three items from the master list. Sketch a few PLANS for a painting or drawing - no finished work, just ideas at this point.
After you have sketched a few ideas, select one to develop for your project.You may have to do some research, find out what the items really LOOK like and work through the composition ... creating your very own original, never before seen piece of art.