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Looking for creativity in education?

beth vendryes wwilliams

beth vendryes wwilliams

I have been thinking a lot about children, creativity and education.

Today , much of the emphasis is on testing, and that is especially focused on math, science and reading and writing.  So that is currently where emphasis is now placed.  And yet learning occurs when the whole person is participating. In reality, separate subjects are all connected to one other. Art , music, movement, theater and dance are all crucial to a whole learning.

Yesterday, I received this video link below from a dear teacher friend about a way of education emphasizes the whole child.

I know it can work because my own children all began their education in a Waldorf school, albeit, not this particular one. I agree that it helps children to develop a deep understanding  of themselves. It encourages a  resiliency, coming from their practiced ability to think outside the box, to look at things from many perspectives and  develop critical thinking.

Education that serves the whole child, physical, intellectual, artistic, musical, theatrical and inner spirit. Hmmm… What do you think?

Thoughts to ponder…uncertainty

IMG_8240 - 2013-06-26 at 05-01-42
Uncertainty is where things happen.

072270-grunge-icon-alphanumeric-quote-open1It is where the


for success, for happiness, for really living

— are waiting.

by Oliver Burkeman

What do you find happens to your perception when you are uncertain? I begin to get nervous and stop believing in my ability to create.       BUT,  if I am able to let go of trying to control the results, I am suddenly free to imagine and discover new ways to accomplish something. So, what about YOU?  

  • LauraFebruary 9, 2014 - 9:21 am

    Hope–in the style of Alice in Wonderland

    Once more she found herself in the long hall, and close to the little glass table. “Now, I’ll manage BETTER this time,” she said to herself, and began by taking the little golden key, and unlocking the door that led into the garden. Then she set to work nibbling at the mushroom till she was about a foot high; then she walked down the little passage; and then she found herself at last in the beautiful garden, among the bright flowerbeds and the cool fountains.ReplyCancel

thoughts to ponder

Chop wood or make art?

Chop wood or make art?

“My own behavior baffles me.

For I find myself doing

what I really hate,

and not doing

what I really want to


- St. Paul, Romans 7:15-16
  • Laura VendryesFebruary 9, 2014 - 9:12 am

    “You should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
    “I do ,” Alice hastily replied;
    “at least I mean what I say–that’s the same thing you know.”ReplyCancel

Inspired by a goldfinch, Fabritius & Tartt

Its been a long time since I sat down in my favorite chair and got cozy with a 771 page book!  I meet  with some  lovely ladies who have lively discussions about a chosen book. This   month it was “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. I decided to see if I still enjoyed being totally ensconced in a long story, but was concerned that it would take time away from painting. Little did i know that it would prove to astonish and inspire me to paint MORE!

Yes, it did take a week of reading 1-2 hours a day. I turned the pages without conscious noticing .The story, descriptions, characters and philosophy carried me along so that I continued  the daily habit of setting reading time aside.

This book is a story about a painting, a boy with a tragic event, and  the synchronicity of life.

I was reintroduced to the impact of a painting…about how it tells  a story. , The author herself  states:

 “I wrote books in this way, around images,” Ms. Tartt said, something that didn’t occur to her until “The Goldfinch” — a book that surrounds an image of a luminous yellow-tinged bird — was complete.”

Reading little jewels like….

” There’s a doubleness. You see the mark, you see the paint for the paint, and also the living bird.” p. 579

“…connections missed, things lost and never found, and my painting swept away on that powerful current and drifting out there somewhere: a tiny fragment of spirit , faint spark bobbing on a dark sea.”p.603

Reminded me of the how complex and full of grays life is.

Maybe sometimes-the wrong way is the right way? You can take the wrong path and it still comes out where you want it to be?”p. 745

A reminder that living a good and loving life does not guarantee that no bad things ever happen. And bad things can also be transformative , bringing us to  a good place. Keep on striving.

“And isn’t that the whole  point of things–beautiful things–that they connect you to some larger beauty? p. 757

On the  question of why it is so important to make art.

“–if a painting really works down in your heart and changes the way you see and think and feel, you don’t think . ‘oh I love this picture because its universal.  ….”

You feel that way because it speaks directly to you and where you are.

And that is why I, myself… choose to paint.

If this resonates with you, be sure to explore other posts here and read this book. It is well worth your time….. Why do you create? How important is creating to your life?  Have you seen a painting that has changed your life? 


Read the NY Times interview with Donna Tartt here.



  • NinaJanuary 14, 2014 - 5:17 pm

    So much fun when we can connect with another medium….. or. they with us!ReplyCancel

What if you try but fall short of the goal?

gardens: energetic

Ah yes!

Early this morning, a very thoughtful friend inquired about my 30 day challenge… the 30 paintings in 30 days that wrote about a few posts ago.

“Did you actually finish 30 paintings?”, she asked? I realized I never addressed the final outcome on this blog!  So thank you my dear friend, for asking.

So for those of you who were rooting for me…..NO, although I  did finish  7 paintings.

I am disappointed that I didn’t get them all done and am happy with the series of 7 that I created.

I am also invigorated by the experience of carving out the time on a regular basis to paint in oil in a limited format.

It was a challenge that I don’t regret because learned a lot from the experience. Pushing myself to produce the work has yielded a fresh and deep look at the ever-changing garden in our backyard. To see them all, take a look at my latest post fresh art post at my portfolio site and at the 30 in 30 post listed under fresh new  art blog!

Now 3 of them are for sale at the Oyster Bay Frame Shop right in time for the holidays.

I’d love to hear what you think.

How do you handle changing goals when you have not met them?





  • Kathleen O'BrienFebruary 2, 2014 - 2:35 pm

    Beth, I am so happy to meet a fellow scribe. I just wrote a blog post about giving myself permission to let this be the “Year of the Pencil”, and just draw, draw, draw. This year, my 46th year as a painter, allowing my biggest joy to draw. Your words are like an echo to my sentiments about the pure joy of the feeling of seeing what happens when you put marks on some fabulous paper like Twinrocker. Your drawing lesson is quite perfect.ReplyCancel

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