Rural Art~~Making Something Out of Nothing

A trip to the countryside can yield many rural art objects. These are visual delights, made from whatever is around…such as old tools, wood, flowers, or rocks. It is an informal process of taking ordinary items and giving them a new purpose or meaning.

Spring Blossoms and a Rusty Pump, (c)2012 Joni Beach.
Spring Blossoms & a Rusty Pump, (c)2012, Joni Beach.

Spring flowers + a rusty old pump…

Where's The Herbs?, (c)2012, Joni Beach.
Where's The Herbs?, (c)2012, Joni Beach.

A piece of wood with scratched on letters–on a fence…

Tree Limb Bench, (c)2012, Joni Beach.
Tree Limb Bench & Twig Basket, (c)2012, Joni Beach.

Limbs from a tree nailed together and twigs woven into a basket… And, scraps of wood, bolts, rod, and paint mounted on a post.

Flying With The Wind, (c)2012 Joni Beach.
Flying With The Wind, (c)2012, Joni Beach.

How many times in our lives and families are we required to do the same? Take what we have on hand…certain resources, opportunities, or situations…and improvise and adapt responses and ways of living to meet a challenge? For example, when a person’s dreams and job goals do not develop exactly as planned after school, a person may find creative ways to make a living, earn income, or begin a business. Or, when a loved one develops a chronic illness, families find new ways to meet the normal daily schedule, while at the same time adjusting to a “new normal”.

In life, as in rural art, creative solutions require improvising, adapting, and designing novel outcomes…

Out of seemingly ordinary things.

Creativity~ More Than One Right Answer

When I teach a design course, students are encouraged to brainstorm and draw multiple sketches of many ideas. After this, they are to select the idea that is most creative and best meets the design problem. It’s interesting to me that there are always a few who have one initial idea and want to immediately begin their project.

One Answer,(c) 2011 Joni Beach
One Answer, (c) 2011 Joni Beach

Why is idea generation important to the creative process? Because as Dewitt Jones, photojournalist, says, “There is more than one right answer…” Using divergent thinking, we think of multiple answers and solutions and then select an idea to develop through experimenting, playing,and improvising. We can evaluate as we go, making changes as needed to the design.

MoreThanOne,(c)2011JoniBeach
More Than One, (c) 2011 JoniBeach

In using creativity in problem-solving in art, as well as in life, the focus is on considering multiple possible answers and eventually selecting one vs analyzing to discover the one right answer…                                                                                                                                                         Many times it is not the initial idea that has the most creative outcome…                                                          Use creativity and discover more than one right answer.

Family Fridays–“Goals–Disappointment or Motivation?”

Pumpkin PatchThis week there was a theme on my blog-goals. Earlier this week, I observed that as an artist failing to reach a goal can be disappointing and discouraging. In our families, especially as parents, we may experience a similar thing. Having goals and expectations, along with perhaps being perfectionistic with ourselves and our family members, may lead us to feel stressed if the end results are not always what we want. Can’t this actually present additional stress and add to problems rather than lessen them?

Instead of viewing goals as end results that must be achieved, perhaps goals can be set to use as a guide to help us move in the direction that we would like to go…an aid in seeing a vision of our families that we would like to encourage and strive toward. For example, instead of saying my child must make all A’s on their report card, a parent’s goal might be that their child will learn, develop, and gain confidence in their abilities as they grow as a person. Then, our goals become motivation with positive encouragement, regardless of the specific end results. In the end, this may lessen our disappointment and raise our confidence in meeting life’s challenges along the way.

I have not met all of my goals for the week, but I am working in the direction I’d like to go…How about you?

As the fall colors and warm days are here, enjoy the weekend!