Tuesday, January 27, 2009

An Exercise in Looking ... and Seeing ...

I love Keri Smith's 100 ideas. I downloaded the PDF file last year, cut out all the little squares (without reading them - I want each one to be a surprise!) and put them in a glass jar. Every now and then, when I feel the need for creative guidance, I pick one at random, paste it in a small journal, and execute the 'idea'. Last week it was number 1. (" Go for a walk. Draw or list things you find on the sidewalk.")

I was amazed at how this changed my regular walk to Fish Hoek - I noticed all kinds of little bits and pieces that usually get edited out by one's brain: a marrow bone, a red blob of paint, some twisty bits of white plastic, a crumpled tissue, a big shiny leaf, a rusted, flattened battery, a plank with faint green stripes, an old Marlboro packet, the torn-off side strip of a printed invoice, a Cup O' Soup box, a broken green bottle, and many, many more.
(I also loved Esti's post about teaching her little daughters to look and notice things. See here.)

6 comments:

Sarah said...

Hi Anairam,
That is such a good recommendation thanks! I have just downloaded it, cut it out and done number 61! I loved the pdfs with advice for artists as well.
I think I will copy you on my walk tomorrow and look at the tiny things on the pavement.

Linda Sue said...

A red blob of paint, that alone could entertain me for a day!
So cold and dark today, a walk was the last thing on my list of nothing...The pup misses out. Winter blues sinking in, must shake it with a blob of paint...or something.A blob for the Blahs.

Laura said...

I downloaded the 100 things a couple of years ago. I still haven't done any of the great ideas because I keep putting the page somewhere safe and then I lose it for a while. I never thought to cut it up and choose a random surprise everyday. I'm going to go hunt it down. Thanks for the great idea!

●• Tiny Red said...

excellent exercise, isn't it???:)

Anairam said...

sarah - I'm so glad that you have discovered her too - and I hope you have a happy time looking at tiny things on your walk! (Just don't walk into a pole or something ...)

linda sue - Oh! A Blob for the Blahs! That sounds like the title of something, a poem or a painting or a story! I hope you shake those winter blues and get some spring yellow and pink and orange and red around you soon. Look out for them, they are there, somewhere!

Laura - Oh, you must try them, really! I do not do them evry day or even every week, just now and then, and sometimes one trips me up, like my current one - Read a book in one day! One day!! I chose the shortest book I had but only got through a third in one day, I have a life to live, you know! So that one will have to wait for a weekend. Or maybe I should take out a nice children's book from the library.

tiny red - It was a great exercise, only I must have looked a little funny, every minute or so stopping to peer at something and then scribbling away in my teeny little notebook.

kendalee said...

Love this! Keri Smith is a wonder, isn't she? So inspiring. Always a fresh take on things...