Saturday, March 08, 2008

Most artists are 'grown' not born

Christie (Skygrazer) over at made a very interesting comment about artists...that there's no magical wand or myth about being an artist, that she (like most of us) "have a subconscious belief that people who could draw or paint were born with the knowledge and the vision." and goes on to say "I didn’t know there were tricks and tips to “seeing” that help you to recreate what you see."

I found this most interesting because I too held that notion and I had the same 'ah ha' moment after I turned 40 and discovered that there are techniques to be learned to achieve certain results and that once you practiced with these techniques, you could actually make something 'artful'! What I wanna know is how come in all the time I was going to school, not ONE teacher actually taught any basic art lessons. That's the true tradegy, that art in those days was not encouraged... it was all about learning the 'practical' stuff algebra and dissecting frogs! Art was considered play time, not something to be taught and encouraged. Inevidently, I'd already made up my mind that I couldn't draw by the time I went to high school and so I didn't take art as a subject later on because I thought I didn't have what it took to be an artist...certainly no god-given talent. It wasn't until I learned about claying that I thought 'hey, I can do something'...and being encouraged by the results I learned more and more, through books and videos and experimenting and practice, I actually became good at something artful. This helped push me through all my subconscious beliefs and associated fears and led me into drawing and painting at Tafe where I once again had an 'ahha' moment about's learned! I now believe that everyone is an artist, just that many of them, like me, don't know it because they weren't guided in their formative years.
Let me say though that just knowing techniques doesn't make you an artist. It's how you put these techniques together, it's how you express yourself and how much you're willing to step out of your own way and let creativity flow through you that will make you a truly unique artist. I'm only just getting to that stage in my claying where I can automatically draw on any number of techniques to create something...where I have ideas that make me jump out of bed and create....AND that these ideas would not have been possible had I not known the techniques and possibilities.

Anyone 'grok' what I'm saying here?

So, for all those who haven't had any formal art lessons and those who truly believe that 'haven't an artistic bone in their body' like I did for about 40 years...I encourage you to take the plunge. Go enrol in a course or buy a book or a dvd and actually DO these lessons. You'll be AMAZED at what you can do once you have been guided....

I don't have pics today as I'm waiting for my camera to come home. I had a fabulous weekend away at Suzanne's studio in Sawtell. We both got to experiment with new ideas that had been brewing. Next week, I promise to have something new to show you.


Debbie said...

Yes, I do Grok.

TANNTAAFL - go take classes, learn the techniques, let them soak in to your subconscious. Then as you said, your creativity can be expressed because you have the building blocks, the techniques.

Amazing how sometimes we feel we have to reinvent the wheel ourselves each time, to call ourselves artists.

Kathi said...

I grok you loud and clear cause it happened to me at 40 also. Go girl now make some pretties for me to drool over ok? LY gf!