There is nothing like watching a person grow and develop. Most people who visit me in my studio tell me that they can’t draw or paint. They say things like “oh I like art but I’m no good at it”. I honestly believe that the ability to create is within us all. Making art is a talent that we are all born with; the skill comes with practice and experiment. Most restraints are from within ourselves. We tell ourselves we are not good enough or are embarrassed by our early, immature attempts. We are afraid to show our efforts at mark-making for fear of being laughed at, reprimanded for wasting time and a multitude of other reasons not to pick up a pencil or paintbrush.
Andy, my last ‘student’ of 2016, was one such person who thought he could not paint a picture. He came into my studio during autumn 2016 asking if I would paint a picture of a silk print he had bought from an African trip some time ago. I encouraged him to think about painting his own version but he told me that he had not painted a picture since primary school (many years ago). He went away to think about it, returning several weeks later. Andy booked a series of one-to-one sessions where we covered things like how to ‘see’ things and transfer an image from one source to another using the rule of thirds to help compose the scene he wanted to capture. We talked about and experimented with colour mixing. Then we progressed onto techniques and tips for acrylic medium. Andy had a total of five sessions where he went from being someone who felt lacking in artistic ability to being an artist in his own right. He told me that he was now ‘seeing’ colours and shapes in everyday things.
Andy finished his painting (on a 50x50cm deep-edge canvas) in time for Christmas. He was so enthralled by his achievements that he felt confident enough to give it away for a present. His happiness was my happiness. There really is nothing to beat the pleasure of helping someone grow and develop – whether it be in art or any other aspect of life. I’ve planned several workshops for 2017, including a series of eight ‘Introductory’ workshops covering the basics for beginners. I’ve even included some free taster ‘Drop In’ sessions throughout the year to encourage more people to create art. I see my role not as someone who ‘teaches’ but someone who encourages others to achieve and develop their own way of creating art. Everyone can create art – try it.
Have a creative and happy 2017.