Sunday, 24 April 2016

An art lesson on acceptance

At an art workshop I did recently, the facilitator said something that got me thinking about our ideas of right and wrong, criticism, and acceptance. She challenged us to draw something that was in front of us, without rubbing any lines out. She suggested that we just accept all the lines we had drawn, without judgement.

She pointed out that if we draw a line 5 times in slightly different positions, one of them is likely to be where we want it to be. However, if we rub each of them out before we “try again to get it right”, we will lose the line we wanted as well as the ones we didn’t want. If, instead, we leave all the lines in and continue, at the end we can look at the whole effect, and we will have a whole range of lines to choose from.

All we need to do then is strengthen the line we choose. I discovered that doesn’t actually matter if we leave the “wrong” lines in, because our eye is so clever that it naturally creates shapes that make sense out of a set of lines on a page. And in fact, the most powerful art is often the most abstract or the least “accurate”, because then we find our own meaning in it.

I wonder where we are rubbing things in our lives because they don’t seem “right”, and how many opportunities we lose in the process?

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