Art and the Brain

Betty Edwards's book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is one of our favorites at Little Art House.  It explains how our brains and our biology works for and against us when it comes to creating art.  The introduction describes how the left side of our brains - our logical and analytical side - likes to insert opinions and corrections while the right side of our brains wants to see the whole picture and express feelings.

As we all know, we need both hemispheres working together to really dive into the creative process. But, how do we allow them to work together and not at odds?  We have to train our brains and create connections by honoring all aspects of learning.  When we ask our students, “what is the most frustrating part of making art?”, the most common answer is “it isn’t what I imagined in my head” or “it doesn’t look like I wanted it to look.”  This is one conundrum of our biology: understanding what we see versus what we think we see.

Training our eyes to see and our brain to understand - to perceive depth, color, and perspective - involves creating connections in the right hemisphere. Throughout our school years, we spend an inordinate amount of time creating connections on the left side of the brain through math, science, and literacy.  Now, there is ample evidence showing the importance of supporting the arts in connection with traditional academic subjects, and, as a result, classes are starting to blend both daily.

At Little Art House, we strive to show students how to create these connections and how to use both sides of their brains. We want our students to know that everyone struggles to make these connections and use their brains this way.  It is a common myth that art is a talent and some are born with it and others are not.  While some people may be more naturally inclined, everyone can learn how to create and make art.  If there is a desire, there is a way.  We are here to support that journey.