Sometimes when I teach, I see people forget a universal truth.
It Takes Practice.
To be really good at something takes practice, time, and a desire to keep growing our skill.
No one expects to skate out onto the crisp ice, and in your first session do something worthy of qualifying you for the Olympic Games. We just know that.
And that is what puzzles me. It is not uncommon for students to do something for the first time and if it doesn't turn out exactly the way they wanted, assume they lack what it takes to be good at art.
As adults it is rare for us to do something that is completely new to us. And thus we grow rusty at being a good beginner. We forget that everything we do well, we've done a lot. And that our skill did not show up right away, but grew from numerous attempts in which we kept trying.
Which is a problem when we forget, because......
Creativity requires blind leaps into the unknown--of trying new ideas, of doing or creating a bunch of things, some you like, some you don't, but from each you learn a great deal.
It Takes Practice... and lots of it.
You have to learn to not let any piece you create, be the object by which you determine your capacity for success. If that was the case, none of us would have learned how to walk--just think of all the times we fell down!! We did not take that as an indication that we were not meant to walk.
You can have a lot of fun leaping into your creativity and just playing with the materials and surrendering a need to control it or to create a "masterpiece".
Let your art making be just a play time... and know that if you show up and continue to explore and learn, your skill will continue to improve. But it takes a willingness to relax when things aren't quite working out.
I have a painting currently on my easel that is constantly evolving. I'm trying some new things I haven't done before. Which means I'm taking a risk. And that is what keeps it interesting. I've set the easel up across the room, so I can drink my tea and look at it from far away-letting it gently tell me what it may need next. I have to just trust the process, that it will either lead me to a painting I am pleased with, or to another chance to develop my skill.
There are lot of falls for ice skaters on their way to their best work. We should remember this when we make art-- knowing that each "bad" piece is not a disaster, but is setting us up for even greater success down the road.
Remember... It Takes Practice : )
And finally I shall leave you with this. At Halloween, I had a trick or treat potluck in which everything people brought had to either trick you or be a treat. The creativity of my friends blew me away! Check out the above brushes and palette. Those are homemade bread sticks, hand shaped, with string cheese bristles. The paint is homemade hummus colored with food dye. I'm always cautioning students to wash paint off their hands before eating... but in this case I think we can make an exception!
Things are very busy here (in a good way!). So I ask your forgiveness for my less frequent blog posts! Have a great week!
---Upcoming Classes in Seattle:
Red Letter Day-
for journaling--Sat. March 8th
Creating Intuitively with Mixed Media--Sat. March 29th
Making Journals with Children's Books--Sat. April 5th