I teach a fine arts class for adults who want their crayons back* and this week’s project was Butterfly Windmills.
Butterfly Windmills is a spin-off of Russian born surrealist Vladimir Kush’s Fauna La Mancha and the original has Don Quixote in the foreground with a butterfly net.
But my students just liked the butterfly windmills minus the literary reference. In our class we just jump right into a project, on the theory that the best way to learn a thing is to actually do the thing. I paint along with them and their results are impressive. “I’m not an artist, I haven’t been to art school,” most of them say. To which I reply: “Everyone is born an artist and you can do this.” They do.
Butterfly Windmills took longer than the allotted two hours, so I got home late and my 21 year-old daughter said, “You’re an hour late. Where have you been? Who have you been with?” I knew she was doing a role reversal on me. “Butterfly Windmills took longer than I thought.” “Oh really?” she replied. “Is THAT what you kids are calling it nowadays?”
*“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please’.-Hugh MacLeod