Saturday, June 3, 2006

The Play's the Thing...

How often do you play at art? I mean really play? True art play isn't making art for swaps, sales, or shows. It isn't developing techniques to fuel teaching schedules or book deals. It isn't opening up the latest bestselling volume from the hottest or latest artist on Somerset Studio's editorial board. When I use the term "art play," I mean the kind of art-making that leaves you breathless. Think freeze tag, hopscotch, jump rope: Time in the studio to imagine, experiment, improvise, and leap far beyond your box without a single thought of deadlines, guidelines or headlines. This is play that reaches back and reawakens the wild abandon of the child.

As with many childhood games, art play is often more fun with a playmate, a kindred soul whose energy and enthusiasm fuels your own. This past Friday, a dear friend and I met for an "Art Play Day." We played in paint and inks until our bodies were covered in a rainbow of tiny flecks and splatters. We let serendipity take the lead. We discussed not a single teacher, trend, or technique. We used the most basic of materials, let our hair down, donned aprons, and let things fly. In the process, we discovered that our very souls took flight. We were free from the self-imposed pressure to create something pretty or useful or important. We cheered, we gasped, we shared, we simply played until we sank into our chairs, exhausted and utterly, completely in bliss. It was a good day. It refueled our passion for art that serves only ourselves, art that says nothing and yet speaks volumes about letting go and rising up.

Note: The above serendipity paper was created with sprayed dye inks (metallics & brights), mini bubble wrap, string-wrapped brayers, and an everyday drinking straw.


  1. It is totally beautiful as well. Just goes to show how wonderful playing is!

    Kari x

  2. Beautifully written and so very true. It's an amazing feeling when the "Play" bug really goes crazy!


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