Have you had it when you want to do something but don’t begin because you don’t know how? Maybe the knowledge seems unattainable or the task too demanding.
Four years ago I started to paint with oils. The arrival at this point was instinctive and wasn’t something I had even thought about doing in the past particularly. My wonderful wife has always made art and my creative tending towards performance and music.
Painting became more than a hobby as I started to sell my paintings. A great way to start making art is to follow your feelings. So when walking around my local neighbourhood the idea of making art from what was on the street came to mind. Often old painting was discarded in the street. The notion of building my own materials to paint on appealed greatly.
This can be a great way to begin. What do you have in front of you? The magic of making artwork is that you theoretically can make anything. As I started to use oils research lead me to begin my own art history journey. It was Titian that made canvas famous as a substrate and from about 1500 it came into common use.
I was drawn to painting on plywood, to begin with after buying some ready-made canvasses. Immediately the need for me to be involved with the preparation of what I paint on became important. This was not a result of an intellectual process. My heart still is taking the lead as I develop an online art practice. Interesting as it was a heart attack that began this process !!!
From doing things I learn. How do you learn best? Is it easier for you to follow a textbook or a practical approach? It is hard to know when you are a child. There seems to be a lot of pressure to fit into an education system as if it is the proper way to learn.
The difficulty in providing a broad approach in education cannot be underestimated. Surely the need for creative learning should be at the forefront of children’s education. It seems the case that creative arts are considered to be of secondary importance. Is this because its output cannot be measured?
Is business moving away from productivity and increasingly demanding an open creative approach? Consequently isn’t the case for educating young people so their minds are open to change and flexibility so important for the stability of the increasingly fragile economic growth model??
The art of painting is one of finding out through making marks and moving colour how to translate a relationship in front of you into a piece of meaningful work. This is my interpretation and of course is open to lots of debate. Perhaps this is the dilemma.
“I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
― Pablo Picasso
The truth is that as I continue to follow my heart and not my head every area of my life is improving. The discipline of making paintings sharpens up my senses and helps me identify what is special and beautiful in the world around me. This in turn impacts on my deeper understanding and relationship with my own body and sensibilities. Consequently, my diet and general wellness have significantly improved.
I have been able to make decisions about my health and also noticing a re-programming of entrenched habits that erode my confidence. The journey doesn’t, of course, stop there. It is now my responsibility to share and offer to help others commence on a similar change in lifestyle through developing a sustainable creative arts practice.
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