“If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” — Abraham Maslow
So the other day, in reference to something I can’t for the life of me remember, my husband threw out this old proverb. I had no earthly idea what point he was trying to make, and as I often do, I just filed the conversation somewhere inside my most underused medial temporal lobe.
Then over the weekend, Hope’s Nest (hopesnest.org) volunteers and artists held our annual Halloween art workshop in South Los Angeles. As always, it filled me with a sense of joy, and I quickly began planning our Christmas session. Suddenly, in celebrating the excitement of the moment, and the anticipation of the next, I had an epiphany. I realized that the bliss I experience from of these events, comes from the same source: putting kids together with paints.
At that moment, I realized Halloween is not about candy, nor costumes; the treat in the “trick or treat” for me, is watching the little ones tap into a creative spirit that they almost never get to show off.
For me, I know now that Christmas is less about the presents, or even the spirit of the season, than it is about crayons and acrylics, the boundless sprinkling of glitter, and kids who rarely get to play with these materials.
And Easter? Easter is about resurrection, but it’s the rising of artistic energy from the kids — toddlers to teens — as they design their one-of-a-kind Easter eggs.
That’s when that proverb crawled it’s way back into my brain. I realized it applied to me. All I have, metaphorically, is a paint brush, so in a real way for me, everything looks like a canvas. That’s obviously an oversimplification, but the thought of it makes me smile. Wanna paint?
Check out a few of our favorite creations here: