Yesterday at work I did something completely out of the norm, painting a depiction of a sun-drenched shore on a small canvas. And I loved it.
The activity was part of an off-site “team builder” for a small group of HR professionals. We stepped away from the usual grind of people development, processes and employee relations issues, in order to unleash more of our holistic creativity…and simply have fun together.
My daughters spend a lot of time doing artwork. I used to as well, of course, like every former child. Something seems very wrong about the fact that I had not painted in decades. Why is there so little space in “grown-up life” for art?
After the group finished we enjoyed some yogurt at a little shop in Lenox Village, outside of Nashville, and discussed the experience. I had Michael Gelb’s book How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci handy, and we offered some self-evaluation on how in-tuned we are with our senses. Do we truly notice distinctions in colors; tastes; scents; and how certain items feel? I eventually connected the dots back to our daily work with business leaders and employees, and how we can be even more cognizant of the creativity and diversity of thought they present.
The painting exercise forced each of us to focus on certain senses and motor skills in a manner that was out of our comfort zones. In doing so we learned there is space for art after all; we just need to be willing and intentional.