The Creative/Artistic Process Part 3: Journaling


As a teacher of art I try to keep up my artistic craft and the creative process. I am still trying to define what is the creative process.  To assist with this process, I wrote down my thoughts while painting my latest painting. The thoughts are in a free write association and not edited.

How this could be used in the classroom:

  • As students are working on their artwork they could write down their thoughts and reflections on what they are doing.  This way when students were asked how they created their art; they can look back at their journal and describe their artwork.
  • The writing could also be an assistance in writing a formal artist statement.
  • After the student finishes the writing maybe used as a formal assessment piece.

Journal Entry

October 2, 2012

I’m starting my painting.  The canvas is 20” by 20”.  I am going to use a photograph that I took at the Dow Gardens of a mum.  The photograph was taken around 10am on September 30th, 2012.  I am going to use a 2HB beginners pencil to draw the image.  I’m not sure if I will paint it for it is 8:36pm.  I might get started now.

8:44pm:  What was I thinking?  There are so many petals.  REALLY?  What I was I thinking?  I like the photograph, and this will look cool when it’s done.  But dude?  There are so many petals.  Did I mention this is a mum flower?  Just one, they are so tiny.  Ok, I guess.  I will go back to painting.

9:04pm: Ok, there were lots of petals.  I don’t think I have all of the exact middle ones, but I have the main flowers.  I didn’t include the flowers around the main flower.  Middle is also not exactly in the middle.  It’s close but it’s a little bit off.  I think I like the square canvas.  I have never worked with this shape before.  My background is going to be dark and light green (it’s in the original photograph).  The drawing a good start.

October 3, 2012

8:25 Ok, I have all the paint set.  I Took a picture of the drawing.  Now to add cadmium yellow medium with a Grumbacher 8 brush #4722.

10:05pm Ok, there were bunches of more colors that I added after I painted my base coat on it.  Greens, yellow, white, orange.  But it’s late so now more information.  I guess you will just need to guess what colors I used.  I also used a smaller brush for my painting.  That’s all for tonight; it’s late.

October 4th, 2012

8:02 I’m starting early tonight.  I am going to work on the flower picture after I take a picture of it.  I have the base coat on, now to start making it my own. I am mixing white and cadmium yellow.

9:37pm I added a few more coats.  I started not looking at the petals after the third one. That’s it for now.

October 6, 2012

Mum Flower by Christy Berry

5:40am I’m up early and it’s quiet here, so I will paint.  I am starting with petals.

6:51am There are too many petals. I know that the original photograph that I am working from is different from what I am painting.  I am waiting to put the dew drops on the painting until all of the petals are done and the background is done.

5:33pm  The petals are more yellow.  I need to put another coat of yellow on.

7:55pm  I think I am done.  Now, I will just sit and stare at it and then figure out if there is any more paint that is needed.  So this painting took 376 minutes roughly or 6 hours and 16 minutes.  I’m not sure if I am done yet.

Christy Berry Mum Flower painting on the Dow Gardens’ profile picture

So what did I learn overall about the creative process, you might ask.  Well, how I see the world is different than reality.  I added and subtracted a variety of elements from the original image and made one that fits what I perceive when I look at something.  So what makes this creative is that it is different from the original. What I find particularly cool about this finished piece is that the Dow Gardens used my photograph of my painting on their blog and as part of their website.

Christy Berry Mum Flower painting on the Dow Gardens’ website

Enjoy finding your own images to perceive and create.


Mrs. Berry

The Creative/Artistic Process: Part 1-Questions

It has been a bit since I last posted a blog.  I’ve been working on a few projects for next fall and will post them they come together.  At the beginning of the summer an idea started to form around in my head:  what is the artistic process?  I want to teach my students how to think creatively and how to create art using the artistic process.  So began my quest to understand the creative/artistic process.  For me it’s just something that I do.  I haven’t really sat down to analyze the steps that I take.  So taking a cue from Pooh Bear, I sat down and thought about it over the summer.  I did a bit of watching YouTube videos, and recording my own process of start to finish of my own artwork.  This is what I have found so far:

This video is from Steven Berlin Johnson, writer of Where Good Ideas Come From (A book that is now on my wish list). It’s a short four minute video where Steven Johnson speaks and draws at the same time.  It is fast past, so you might want to watch it more than once.

Then I found this gem of a video.  It’s called The Creative Brain (ep. 12)- Charlie Rose: The Brain Series. This video is a bit longer (54 minutes) but Chuck Close is part of the interview panel discussing the brain.  I took away that there is a certain amount of creativity in everybody and that creating art is not always a onetime deal.  That there will be some works of art over the artist’s lifetime that will be duds. And it’s ok.

So after watching these two videos I am left with many questions.  As I come across answers or more questions, I’ll post more in the series.

  • Where does creativity come from?
  • What does it mean to be creative?
  • What is creative?
  • What is the creative/artistic process?
  • Is it different for different disciplines?
  • How can I teach my students to be creative or be creative thinkers?
  • What does the creative process look like in children vs adults?
  • What role does outside influences/environment play in creativity and the development of creativity?
  • What does a creative environment look like?
  • What makes one person more creative than another?
  • Is there a difference?
  • What role does brain development play in creativity?

At this point I’m not real sure that actually is a definitive answer because many different artists approach creating art differently.  If you know an answer please post a reply below.


Mrs. Berry

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