Saturday, February 18, 2012
allowing yourself to be an artist
The one thing I come up against constantly in my private lessons with students is how to help them let go. Let go of preconceived ideas about how they should paint, or what a final product should look like. I try to help them see that it is okay for the process of art to be messy; not just making the studio or their clothes messy, but the process of creating and "playing" is messy. Its not always pretty, it doesn't always look good, you dont even come out with a final product a lot of times. It is in the creating and the playing and making mistakes that we learn who we are as artists. What we want to say, and struggling with how we want to say it are a part of the process. Just as one cannot learn to speak another language fluently after a few days, one cannot learn to be an artist quickly or cleanly. It takes time for the artist to put themselves fully into their art, whether that is playing an instrument or picking up the brush. The easy part is the technical part. Learning brush strokes and washes, terms and new techniques. The difficult part is when you begin to try to infuse that brush with some of "you". The line that embodies a feeling. Knowing the intensity of the color that describes most beautifully what you are trying to set free in you painting. These are things that can't be taught. They must be experienced, felt, nurtured and practiced freely. In doing so, the artist and the artwork become one, and I know after my students have felt that for the first time, they will never put down the brush again.