Extracts from my book “Fresh perspectives on Creativity” (1)
My first fresh perspective is an extract from Chapter 10 : “Having Fun with Creativity”. It tells the story of a painting made by a primary school child with learning difficulties
It is always the case that a great deal of what goes into paintings is hidden and, with it, much of what has been put into them. This point that can be clarified by means of a true story relating to a child with learning difficulties told by his primary school teacher.
George, as I shall call him, was an amiable lad, but never seemed to want to join in what others were doing. One day, during a painting session, the teacher was delighted to see him applying himself with great concentration. She hurried over to see what had caught his imagination and found that he had produced a light-brown oval shape in the middle of an otherwise empty sheet of paper. He was obviously pleased to see her and held up what he had done asking with pride in his voice, “Do you like my potato, Miss?” In itself, George’s production wasn’t very impressive but, sensing an opportunity for a breakthrough in his attitude to school, she enthused about it, suggesting, before leaving him, that he complete the picture.
At the bottom of the page, in addition to the chapters from the four Volumes, there are extracts from the ‘Glossary’ (more to be published in the coming months) and a section on “Miscellaneous Subjects” (so far: “A history of Castelnau de Montmiral“, “The University of Stirling Vision Group” and “The Generosity of Genes“).
(Please scroll down to the chapter that interest you, then click to find a link to it, accompanied by introductory material and images)
Horace Lecoq Boisbaudran came to my notice in 2014. In later posts I will be saying more about these. In brief, I was amazed and gratified to find that the research upon which he based his teaching has more in common with my research than anything else I have come across. Although the exercises he proposed differed in many details from the ones that I suggest in my books, we have in common the idea that training the memory requires rigorous exploration of the unvarying uniqueness in the appearance of every object. Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran’s pupil Alphonse Legros, who actively promoted his teacher’s ideas, became a close friend of Edgar Degas. It may therefore be no coincidence that it was he who provided the best synthesis of Horace Lecoq Boisbaudran’s philosophy that I know:
“It is all very well to copy what you see; it is much better to draw what you only see in memory. There is a transformation during which the imagination works in conjunction with the memory. You only put down what made an impression on you, that is to say the essential. Then your memory and your invention are freed from the dominating influence of nature. That is why pictures made by a man with a trained memory, who knows thoroughly both the masters and his own craft, are almost always remarkable works; for instance Delacroix.
Where my teaching is substantially different from that of Horace Lecoq Boisbaudran is the emphasis I put on training the “feel system“.
Meanwhile here is an extract from the “Glossary” to “Drawing on Both Sides of the Brain” that provides an introduction to his ideas and his influence. I have also added the entry for Alphonse Legros, described as his star pupil, who had great success in spreading his ideas to both his own generation and the following ones.
Click below for a contribution to the accuracy versus expression debate. It is the first chapter of my book “Drawing on Both Sides of the Brain” which is made up of two volumes: “Drawing with Feeling” and “Drawing with Knowledge”. The drawing of Durer’s Mother below is one of the six illustrations in the chapter used to illustrate the expressive potential of the accuracy aspiration. Please enjoy.