Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Leonardo, blue water, Corita and a Wisconsin postcard, just because I can.

I was filling the glass coffee pot this morning when I noticed that the water coming out of the facuet was blue. I'm not my best early in the morning and I admit that I stared at it, intrigued by it's color. If it had been rust colored I would have reacted and dumped the water out but blue?

Leonardo da Vinci once wrote, "I say that the blueness we see in the atmosphere is not intrinsic color, but is caused by warm vapor evaporated in minute and insensible atoms on which the solar rays fall, rendering them luminous against the infinite darkness of the fiery sphere which lies beyond and includes it."


I say that the blueness that I saw was a result of the morning sun's light rays pouring into my, now sparklie clean kitchen window, through the cobalt blue vase and through the bubbly water pouring out of the faucet.

Nope, Leonardo I ain't. But, the water was sure pretty.

Which all leads into an experiment that Corita Kent gave her students. Remember her? About once a month I bring up Corita and her art class as a way for all of us to participate and see the world in a slightly different way.

She suggested that you get a stack of magazines and an X-acto knife and you open a magazine, put down a playing card and cut around that playing card, down through the magazine. Do this to a number of magazines or if you have a fear of the X-acto knife and I know why you might, you can cut two inch strips down through the pages and then cut those two inch strips into 3" pieces.

Make two piles, one you like and one you like less. If content is more important than form, for you, discard the piece of paper.

"Look at the shapes in what you have cut. Always choose for looks, Don't be concerned about particular designs for specific purposed. Limitations of media and purpose inherent in each task will form your structure and a faithfulness to that structure will make the design appropriate to the project."

Pick a piece, at random and in your sketch book continue the design or picture onto your sketch book. Make that piece of paper part of your own design or doodle. Don't try to analyze what it was originally, just play.

Why? Because it's good for your brain. It's making your brain work. You are creating something new from this. It doesn't have to have a purpose, look great, be of interest to anybody else but yourself. It's like going out and taking a walk to exercise your body. You are exercising your brain cells.

We exercise the logic part of our brains, the rational part but often not so much the creative part. We often continue repeating the same art that we have always created because it's comfortable, familiar, it's our "style".

Exercising our creative brain will either enhance what we do already or create a new pathway for our creative development.


  1. Loved reading your "blue" water story. I learn so much on your blog cause you always give out a lot of information. I have to get over my sketching issues and just let go. I would love to try it in my "fake journal."

  2. Thanks. I find that the random sketching from the piece of paper just makes me doodle, which is good. :)Bea