Ironwood Maine Web Update

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” 


            This week in our art classes we have been doing abstract paintings. We also have been discussing creating an Ironwood art calendar.  Each student will be picking out a piece of their artwork that they want to display inside of a calendar. The definition of abstract in the dictionary is “expressing a quality apart from an object”. Abstract art does not deal with a representational interpretation of a subject.  This means that it doesn’t specifically depict a person, place, or a thing. The website mentions “reality is subjective- and it’s up to a viewer to define it.”  

            The process of abstract painting helps the students express how they are feeling through just simple shapes, lines, and colors. They can let their minds flow and not think too hard about any tedious details within a piece. This facet of the program helps the students realize how much art can help them cope with feelings, how much art can show them about themselves, and how they can show their individuality. During ceremony one of the residents said “I am grateful for being able to express my feelings in art today.” 

            This skill can also easily be taken outside of Ironwood. Art is not only painting.  It can be drawing, sculpting, creating music, etc. Knowing how you can express your feelings through art can be very beneficial because in art there is really no right or wrong.  There is only your imagination and how you want to see things. Creating art is a good way to be able to focus on things around you, looking inside yourself and seeing how you are feeling, expressing yourself, and even just spilling what is in your brain on a piece of paper.

            In my perspective, art has been a big help for me and the people around me. Staff have been joining in with the students on creating beautiful pieces of art that have been displayed.  Being in a class with eight other students can influence a lot about what is put into a piece. If you look at what the person next to you is doing, it may influence something inside of your piece, but your two artworks are completely different.  They show who you are and your style of expressing yourself. An example I have from my group is when someone started their piece with some random shapes and very basic colors.  It was a very simple but amazing piece of art.  In the next class one of the other residents saw her art and did something very similar to it.  They kept joking around about who “copied” who. Then it was brought to their awareness that even though both of their pieces had the same concept, they were not the same piece at all.  

             Art has shown me a lot about myself.  The main thing is that I won’t like everything, but that doesn’t mean that I throw it away.  I have to make it into something that I like or, who knows, I might come back the next day and have a different perspective on it or something that I want to add. The part that I really like about abstract art is there really is no right or wrong. Making a mistake is very difficult in this form of art, especially if you are letting your mind wander and you aren’t exactly thinking about what you are doing.  I always thought I made a “mistake” in my art during class, but in the next class I looked at it and I really liked what I did. 

            Overall, the residents and staff have been able to see how much this form of art can affect them.  Art is a form of therapy.  It teaches them to learn to stop when they are satisfied with their work, but it also teaches them to take risks and add on to their art if they aren’t completely satisfied with it. Art can affect your life as well.  I hope you will be able to try out abstract art or even art in general. It has helped a lot of the students here with the difficult times they have been going through.