As the old year wanes and there are these few final days during which to think about the incoming New Year, I suddenly remembered a little statement that I had caught during the fascinating PBS film, A Murder of Crows. It seems something important to remember - for me, at least - as 2012 dawns.
"Play allows the mind to develop and thus the crows become more creative." I think that pertains to us all, corvids, humans, and everyone in between.
As artists, it is so important to play, to revert in a way to a childlike mental state, to relax. Every time I remember to do this, I find that the art I am trying to create seems to flow better.
Think of some of Henri Matisse's dancers; here, he seems to have distilled his art to a marvellous sense of joyous play. Above is a second version of Dance that Matisse did in 1909-1910, the version now in the State Hermitage Museum . But then fast forward to 1947, when Matisse had to resort to paper cut-outs, papiers coupes, because his infirmities precluded him from painting. He still retained a sense of play, and his creativity was undimmed.
How more eloquent an example of play allowing creativity to flow can one get! The crows can certainly teach us a lot. So can Matisse!
Happy New Year to all, and joyful play.