So I made these knife rests for a friend who lives in Kentucky. I haven’t sent them yet even though they have been completed since last summer. Why? Because of fear. What if she doesn’t like them? I rarely share my work and every time someone buys one of my pieces I am surprised. So in honour of sharing and responsibility here they are.
So why the lack of confidence? I have had some wonderful art
teachers, including one who has encouraged me ever since high school
(many moons ago!) But I have also had some really bad ones whose
criticism made me fearful of producing work for these teachers. And even
though I have continued to produce art all my life, I have never
considered myself an artist.
And this is why art education done well is so important. Confidence
is such a fragile thing and so is the belief in one’s vision. I am sad
when I see elementary teachers muck up art assignments by telling
students what they want as product rather than just teaching the method
and then allowing students to create. Done well, art, drama and physical
movement can be incorporated into every area of the curriculum.
And this brings me back to Sue Waters' blog
about commenting. And while this is a cliche the old adage “If you
don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all,” really holds
true. While many people have been blogging for a long time those of us
who are new to the experience are still in that fragile, tentative stage
of sharing and may be easily dissuaded from sharing by a negative
experience. Feedback is crucial for growth to occur, but learning how to
give feedback that is timely, reflective, positive and thought
provoking is a skill that constantly needs to be developed and improved.
So do I believe commenting counts? You betcha!