Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.”
I can remember being in Miss Santich’s kindergarten class at De Vargas Elementary School in San Jose, California, USA, in 1968. Sitting on the ground, I colorfully painted on large sheets of butcher paper with my friend, Scotty. There was no critic inside me that I could hear. In kindergarten, I had not needed courage – just paper and paint. As I grew up, I endured many years of criticism from parents and teachers as well as my siblings, friends, and neighbors. “Sit up straight. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Say please and thank you.”
I received grades in school. I was even cut from a football team in the eighth grade at Manuel Rogers Junior High. A few moments before my first game in the eighth grade, I was enjoying a wonderful conversation with a beautiful young woman named Jenny, on the sideline. I was in ecstasy. Suddenly, I heard this booming voice of my coach, Mr. John Hennig – “Davis, where are you?” I was supposed to be in the huddle hearing the call for the first play.
On Monday morning, I read the list of those who made the football team. I was not allowed to play anymore with the team. For the first time in my life, I was cut from an athletic team.
I learned to be on time. I learned to listen to those in authority. I learned to do my duty – my homework, my chores, and later, the tasks of my job. I developed a critic inside me to help guide me. When I was older, the critic got very loud. It got so loud at one point in my life that I could hardly hear anything else. When one surrenders their creativity, one becomes dead inside. Emma Jung said, “Tell the judge on your shoulder to do something else.”
“Where there is creating, there is progress. Where there is no creating, there is no progress. Know the nature of creating. Where there is joy, there is creating. Know the nature of joy. Where there is the infinite, there is joy,” says a passage from the Upanishads.
In this video, Sue Renfrew, M.A. demonstrates watercolor painting. Please get out your watercolor paints and find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Join in the fun and joy of creative expression.