Everything is Fair Game

I’m thinking back to my second earliest memory of crouching over a mud puddle in the dirt driveway—I must have been three at most. The rain had cleared, and the sun shone on this mini-pond of water where oil residue floated from the family’s old Chevrolet.

I distinctly remember trailing my pointer finger through the puddle rearranging the rainbow that danced and swirled on the surface of the water. If I tapped the surface gently, little ripples of color spread in concentric circles. In my memory, I was there for a long time (it could have been minutes in child-time), experimenting with different media—a piece of gravel dropped from standing up height, a leaf floated on top. To a child (and I’m hoping to some adults), the world is a big canvas and everything is fair game for art.

All these many years later, the surface of the water in my hot tub when the moon reflects there making beautiful kanji that shape shifts with the slightest movement fills me with the same child-like awe and wonder.

Cloud art is still a favorite pastime from childhood. Ever shifting, what may appear as a princess on a camel at one moment turns into a cat eating an ice cream cone the next. Do you see the salamander in the cloud picture above? Click on it to make it bigger.

Leaves that float along the edge of the creek in a pattern that suggests a story, textured plaster on ceilings and walls (what do you see in the white picture above?), the arrangement of moss on a tree, are all sources of art expressing itself if you take time to look.

The water-trickles on the glass door of my shower have become a favorite canvas. I stumbled on this accidentally. Reaching for the towel I’d tossed over the rim of the shower, I splashed water on the steamy door. The splashes trickled down in an odd pattern. As I watched mesmerized three little children took form. I used my little finger to fill in some detail and found to my delight they were holding hands dancing in a circle. Not being an artist (my sister got that gene), I wasn’t able to recreate the picture once I was out of the shower. But for a moment, serendipity and I created a sweet piece of art there in the shower stall.

If you let your mind be a playground, you’ll never be bored. Creativity is free, and you don’t need anyone else to play.