Thursday, October 11, 2007

Art - Conversations - DNA

Art and conversations go hand and hand. Conversations are how we express ourselves in the same way an artist creates paintings to express themselves.

Growing up my grandmother was an artist.. and I wanted to be like her... but I couldn't draw.

Then I went on a hunt for learn what drawing really was. All I knew is that I couldn't do it and she could....

Along my journey, I discovered some gems that really helped me get inside of what drawing was and wasn't... when I studied art history in school, I learned about how each artist became fascinated with "something" - and started to study that "something" at a level deeper than what most of us would do. If it was flowers, they would study flowers from every angel, with every change of light, with every type of bloom, close-up, and far away. By studying this one thing - the subject they were fascinated with - they caused their brains to move from "labeling" this thing as "flower" and started to activate their ability to see the "thing" in all the beautiful dimension of it's being.

My first big lesson came from letting go of labels and "falling in love" with a subject that fascinated my brain - and to see through the label to the shapes that composed the "thing."

I leaned that most things are made up of squares, triangles, circles, rectangles all shapes - all connected... so when you start to break down objects into shapes you can draw... you begin to create your first personal artistic lexicon .... your personal language for the way you want to express yourself... and in the world of art - everyone's art is their own. I visited the Miro gallery in Barcelona last year - and realized his whole life as an artist was the study of triangles, circles and lines... he never graduated from that fascination.... that was his palette.

I also found out that people we call artists - all can't draw what others draw.... they each have their own artistic materials they work best with, their own style, and way of seeing and expressing themselves.... so we don't have to become the artist of everything... just the things we want to express.

I found that I fell in love with Batik after seeing a friend demonstrating how she made dresses from fabrics that she had Batiked... it mesmerized me. Then I spent 5 years immersed in using these tools to express myself... wax, dye, fabric and jaunting tools... who would have thought? At the end of that time I had done 200 batiks and actually sold most... when I started my business in 1980 I stopped doing the artwork, and went into the business of helping leaders "see" how to bring their visions to life - by "seeing" new distinctions - this wisdom is the basis of adult learning.

There are many starts and stops along the journey to discovering where your artistic talent lives... and once we free ourselves of the "mythology" of what real artistic talent is ... and we stop telling ourselves we can't do it... and we find materials, or subjects we fall in love with... and we experiment - (never making ourselves wrong) the talent begins to emerge.

Then I found Betty Edwards book called Writing on the Right side of the Brain. Her book is one of the best to help us break out of old 'seeing patterns'... she confirmed that "labeling" is what stops the brain from seeing distinctions.... so when we label a "tree" a "tree" we stop seeing the tree, and we draw a stick tree of something that represents tree - an icon of a tree.

Her famous exercise was to take one of Picasso's charcoal drawings and turn it upside down. Then each person would draw what they saw... since it was now not a picture of a man sitting on a chair but something else - it tricked the brain to come alive and try to draw the lines and the relationships of one line to another... seeing enhanced, became more acute.... and it is from this 'waking up of the brain-eye connection' that each person's artistic abilities began to emerge.

Hope this gives you more food for thought...

Best wishes,


Judith E. Glaser is the Author of two best selling business books: Creating WE: Change I-Thinking to We-Thinking & Build a Healthy Thriving Organization - winner of the Bronze Award in the Leadership Category of the 2008 Axiom Business Book Awards, and The DNA of Leadership; and the DVD and Workshop titled The Leadership Secret of Gregory Goose

Contact: 212-307-4386 -


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