Friday, December 4, 2015

The Andy Griffith School of Art and Design

I misjudged T., my art partner with dementia. 
I'd thought he'd like a freestyle, messy approach to art making, 
but he stiffened up rather than relaxed as we did the exercises I'd brought to our first art session, this week.
And then he castigated himself for being a perfectionist.

I should have known better:
when I worked at the art library, I learned to tell at a glance if a student was more likely to be a designer or a fine artist.
If I'd seen T. then, I'd have said in a heartbeat, DESIGNER. 

(My error was in taking my read off his wife's temperament, not his--hers is more of an artistic nature. Classic error in working with folks with dementia. KEY: let them, not their families, show you who they are.)

I was sad that he was so hard on himself, thinking it's better to be something he's not. After all, being a "perfectionist" is what you want in a designer!

If Frank Lloyd Wright had taken a loose, touchy-feely approach to Fallingwater in 1935, it'd have fallen off by now.

Anyway, not too late---I am going to approach from a design direction next week--I'm going to suggest we paint color studies.
These are awesome because they can be as tight or as loose as you want---like Josef Albers (left) or Kandinsky (right):

I was talking to Marz about this, and she said I am taking the Andy Griffith (Sheriff Taylor) approach: 
work with the person as they are---try to find ways to use their temperament for good. (Apply to self too.)

There're lots of ways to sing a song.

P.S. Orange Crate Art recently mentioned "Lush Life" (1964, Billy Strayhorn)---I love Queen Latifah singing that song (of course, I just love the Queen):

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