Amish boy – pen sketch.
Several people commented on how attentive and focused the Amish children were as they watched me paint – (see previous posts). Which prompted me to write this post about my experiences of painting with children and how creativity helped even the most distracted child – or for that matter adult to FOCUS.
In this instance I was painting the portrait of a French teacher….part of an exhibition I was having in France. Note how completely focused the children are…..
One of the many things the Amish taught me is that by ‘starving distractions’ i.e removing electronics and anything else that get in the way of what our purpose is we can then focus on what it is that we wish to accomplish. It works like a charm…
A little boy in Wales who came to one of my workshops with his grandmother….was fascinated. Shortly after watching me he painted a superb portrait of me.:)
Children in a school in Philadelphia.
No matter what country I was in, or where the children were from….to a one they all focused when I painted.
I remember working with a group in Boston….where I was told by the teacher that it would be impossible for the boys to sit for half an hour…..Well we achieved the impossible, because they actually sat and watched for one hour and at the same time asked excellent questions.
Children in a school in Wales….
In the mid nineties, Using the power of art, I organised a project which was all about helping children to focus, and at the same time learn about their environment.
By focusing on art and the environment the children accomplished a great deal including organising worthy fund raisers. I have written much more about this project…but for now let it suffice to say that it taught me a great deal about children of all ages and what they respond to…..namely art.
In this school the children watched me paint a watercolour of two of cats (on the easel). They in turn painted their own pictures which were sold to their parents. With the proceeds they bought a new chair for a local old people’s home. A win win for all concerned.
This is the cover of the little book ‘Christie the Cat Finds Her New Home…..‘
The book talks about homelessness and how our environment offers up all the answers that we need. We simply need to trust and focus.
This gorgeous brother and sister combo would come to the studio where I was working on this project and paint with me. They would now be in their thirties!
Given that our focus determines our reality – it is vital that we develop the skill of being totally present – and focused.
I have hundreds of photographs taken in schools where I observed the magic happen as children were set free from all unnecessary distractions
I finish with this one because it represents to me ‘pure joy’. These little angels were from a school in the Welsh Valleys…and oh how they loved to watch me paint….It warms my heart to see this photograph.
Focus on all that you love this day….and enjoy. 🙂