10 Minute Journal [ Duality ] – 9/8/17

The Gulf Stream (1899) by Winslow Homer.

Process vs outcome. Duality. Alan Watts talks a lot about the duality of actions. For instance, the big one, good vs evil – he talks about how foolish he believes it is for someone to want to defeat evil. How would you know what good was without it? The contrast provides clarity and without it good can’t exist because there would be nothing to compare it to. He then goes on to give a further example of how he is grateful for those who argue with him because it isn’t until someone argues with him that he knows where he stands on a particular subject. Instead of being angry he says, “thank you”.

Last night I was talking with someone about process versus outcome. Today I’m thinking of it again. With Watts’ in my head I keep thinking about how we can never ever be outside of the process. Process is a verb, an action. Life can only be lived inside of action, so we’d better learn to feel at home inside of the action because we’ll never ever be able to experience anything inside of a static noun – an outcome of a process. Yet, without that outcome how do we choose a process. You could be working to make gains in your career, you could be smoking pot to escape a feeling of dullness, or you could be drawing a comic page that is one in a series towards the goal of publishing a book – they are all processes that are guided by outcomes. It is with an intended outcome that we understand how to judge the success of our actions.

Anne Lamott once talked about how the vision for your journey guides you in the initial direction 0f that journey. That with each step towards your destination you should let go of the vision so you can properly experience the real journey as opposed to be locked into the imagined one that got you to start the trek. I think about that, too. But there isn’t ever a time where you completely let go. Life is and isn’t a dark room we’ve been thrust into that we are feeling around for familiarity within.

A PBL Focused K-5 Elementary Art Trimester Curriculum Outline


In the winter of 2015 I considered teaching art education at the elementary level within a project based learning school. I am trained to teach at all levels of primary and secondary art education. As I’ve mentioned before, my mother has been teaching elementary art for 33+ years

and without her influence I would not be the artist and educator I am today. When the idea of teaching elementary came I knew just who to call. Several of hours and notes later I had a better idea of what to expect, as well as a reminder of what I already knew. Then I hit the books, specifically the quintessential text for early childhood education: “Creative And Mental Growth” by Viktor Lowenfeld (1964) – which, amazingly, is available free, online, and in  multiple formats care of the Internet Archive.


Art Education, Specifically

In my experience all people want to be better at art. I’ve never met someone that didn’t wish that they could practice more art. I’ve met many who have believe in a story called “I can’t do art, I’m not good at it”. This is an effective and powerful story. A story that is taught to us. Being “good at art” is not something you are born with. Somewhere along the way, somebody tells you that you are no good at what you draw and create. Some of us survive that criticism, in fact we welcome it, and we grow up to become self-designated artists. Most people, however, are robbed of the ability to recognize their inner artist by a single comment, usually given by a teacher, that they aren’t good.