Saturday, October 10, 2009
I AM NOT AN ARTIST
I'm not an artist. I AM PRACTICING (this is a little play that my friend and i adopted. we say we're practicing artists, haven't "graduated" yet)
And i'm not even enrolled in a class right now.
I've been busy on the other side of my brain editing curriculum as a paid favor for my former school system. Who knew it would take so long? T E D I O U S.
Now i'm back to practicing. When i went to my first post retirement painting class about 2 years ago, and was asked what interested me, i laid my hand on the stack i'd brought along: watercolors, acrylics, pencils, oil sticks, gouache, pastels, ...and said, "i'd like to learn how to use some of these".
It takes lots of practice, including the practice of telling my brain off once in a while. the chatter. the frustration. the arguments.
I read in a book called SPARKS OF GENIUS by a MacArthur fellow, Robert Root-Bernstein, about the tools of creative thinking as he presented many of the macarthur foundation fellowship recipients from a great variety of fields. The painter described had a 'successful' career, schooling, shows, sales...but was not satisfied. He decided to work on a painting, one painting, over and over, repainting it many times, and everyday for maybe two years, varying the positioning of a line. huge pieces. when he finished, he had a huge collection.
that's my lead. i'm painting MY mountain (i own a lot of geography: my arch, my mountain, grin) over and over again. PRACTICING with my stack of stuff that makes marks. it started in that first class, which is the last picture that i posted, in acrylics. and then ... many have followed. above that are smaller ones, one of my photos and journal entry from last summer, and the first group of four are not finished, and may be tossed, but i'm working on them now...they're 4x6 inches and on the same grainy piece of paper with too much gesso on it. but...i'm learning this way. by myself. and the more i play, the looser my head becomes, and the wiggly lines and blending colors start to emerge.
the first photo....my license plate, and one from new mexico. that's where MY mountain is. my arch is here in michigan with me. MY LOVES, these two states.. BUDDHAFULL NEW MEXICO, and a reminder to "LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH."