Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Reading Releases Flights of Fancy In Our Imagination
Today I am writing about the picture above this posting. The title of it is “Tapestries” by Joy Wallace an artist from Wisconsin. I have had this piece of artwork in my library/office area since I bought it over 15 years ago at an Art Festival in Chicago, (one of the many things I miss about the Windy City—dare I say pizza as well – but I digress). It has been an inspiration to me about an important aspect of reading – imagination.
First here is a little about the painter and artist. Joy Wallace started doing art shows of her works in 1970 and as I mentioned she is from Wisconsin. She uses a technique called etching which along with her creativity the technique gives her works of art a magical and mystical feeling. You can find out more about her technique and view more of her artwork at her website listed here: http://www.joywallace.com/books.htm The link I have here takes you to her section on Books. Being the Bookhead I am I could not pass up taking you to that section. But I encourage you to look at all of her art in her Gallery section.
Now back to Tapestries and reading. The picture took me back to my childhood in the Summer Reading program at Barberton Public Library in Barberton, Ohio my hometown. Starting in third grade, that was an enjoyable part of my Summertime, reading fiction books in a chair at home or outside under one of our trees. What I liked about fiction is I could imagine the places in the books and the descriptions in my own way. In “Tapestries”, we see the young boy has been reading and has fallen asleep. Possibly he is dreaming about the story he was reading. As the book is falling, a flock of white birds, maybe doves, are flying out of the pages. Is that what he is dreaming of as well?
The birds flying to me can be a metaphor for freedom. When we read and grow our imagination this way, we are opening up to learn to be free in expressing our imagination in new ways. This aspect of reading helps to improve our creativity. Imagination and creativity helps keep us sharp minded and feeling alive.
I also notice that the Tapestry, the boy’s chair is on; is rumpled, as if it is moving and the chair is tilting like it is ready for take-off. Is that part of his dream from the book as well that he will be taking a magical journey to some unknown world on this soon to be flying Tapestry? I don’t know as I do not know what book he is reading? But I can imagine can’t I?
We need to encourage reading in our own lives and in the lives of children. I am not movie bashing here as I enjoy a nice Disney film as well as anyone. Movies do play a part in creativity and imagining as well. But in a movie, visually everything is all spelled out there for children and adults. With reading their own imagination gets to kick in and create what the scene and characters actually look like. I believe that is lost in movies and mindless TV. In reading a book our imagination is not passive but actively engaged. It is this active engagement of the mind’s imagination that helps improve our minds I believe creatively as well as critically.
Reflection: What does the meaning of the picture “Tapestries” mean to you? I have been randomly asking people two questions for a writing project I am working on: #1. Why do you think reading is important? And #2 What is the name of a book that has meant a lot to you in your life? If you have emailed this to me you are off the hook on this part of the reflection. If you have not and would like to email me your thoughts send them to my email firstname.lastname@example.org Keep your imagination flying!