© 2009 Marica

016 – Going dotty

For the first time in years I visited the children’s section of our City Library. I remember so vividly the many visits my children and I made to this wonderful place when they were younger.

I knew exactly the book I was looking for – “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds. I was worried someone might get to it before I did. I had checked the online catalogue earlier to see if the library had a copy of this book and was thrilled to find they did. I was so relieved when I spotted the large orange dot from the front cover glaring straight at me. As I picked up the book from the shelf I was tempted to sit down right there on the floor and read it. Unfortunately the adult in me said “wait” and I dutifully did. How boring is that?

When I got back to work I tucked the book into my bag and didn’t look at it again until this evening.

I love reading children’s books. I tend to find their simply written messages are ones we as adults could learn something from. I decided to read the book  out loud so my husband could enjoy it as well.

“Just make a mark and see where it takes you.”

Vashti says she can’t draw. Her teacher thinks she can. She knows that there’s a creative spirit in everyone, and where there’s a dot, there’s a way …

Source: Back cover of “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds

The girl in the book, named Vashti, believed she couldn’t draw (now where have you heard that before?). Vashti ends up jabbing at a blank sheet of paper to prove her point to her art teacher. That dot becomes the beginning of a journey where Vashti discovers she is creative after all. This story encourages us all to be brave about expressing ourselves and to start small and explore our ideas to see where they might lead.

Are you wondering what prompted me to go looking for this book in the first place?

The first reason is I discovered that September 15th 2009 (15th -ish!) is International Dot Day. Since today is the 16th I figured that is very much 15th-ish and I wanted to celebrate by going dotty.  Peter Reynolds wanted people to: “Spread the word… Dot Day… read The Dot, wear dots, eat dots, draw dots, frame dots, connect the dots, splurge on art supplies, try a new medium – a new instrument, write a poem, rearrange your furniture, reconnect the dots with an old friend, make something, make something with a friend, share your creativity with the world. No strict rules on how to celebrate!”

I realised that Fresh New Day could be our way of celebrating Dot Day. Lynsey and I are sharing our experiment in creativity with all of you.

The second reason is to do with Wellington’s old City Library which is now our City Gallery. For almost a year this gallery has been closed due to renovation work being undertaken. At the end of this month the gallery will re-open with a solo exhibition by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. This artist is well known for her fixation with repetitive patterns and forms and her iconic use of dots. In preparation for this exhibition dots have appeared on the outside of the City Gallery. The entire front of the building is currently covered by scaffolding and a transparent orange cloth. Behind the the cloth you can see dots of different colours and sizes. For weeks now we have watched from our office window workmen carefully positioning dots according to a prepared design. Every day more and more dots appeared. I can’t wait to see what it is going to look like when the scaffolding and cloth has gone.

It would appear that going dotty is a popular activity at the moment. Tomorrow is a Fresh New Day. Why don’t you try and do some dotting of your own. Have fun.

09. Every day learn something new.
25. Every day your light shines for others to see.
30. Every day use all your senses. Touch. Smell. Taste. Hear. See.

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