Keeping the "Beginner's Mindset"
I believe that I've mentioned a few times my deficit in drawing skills and the need to get some help with it. Eager to learn painting, I kinda skipped that important foundation. Oopsie.
The problem in my early artsy days was three-fold: I didn't want to take the time, I lacked the discipline, and I didn't like my results. Under heavy conviction, I finally took the steps needed to do a drawing class. My instructor, Jim Himsworth, teaches at Warehouse 521 Art Studio in Nashville and is an excellent artist and a patiently kind teacher. He quickly showed me various ways to assess lines and angles and he reminded me to see shapes, rather than "things."
I can't help feeling a bit dyslexic when it comes to seeing angles...mine are always just a bit too slanted. Jim suggests mentally overlaying a clock face and judging what time that angle is tilting towards. I need more practice (while I blame astigmatism for my wonky angles haha!)
Figurative painting has begun to appeal to me, so I mainly focused on the photos I've stored my inspiration folder. Lines, angles, ratios, and relationships are unforgiving in portraiture and figurative art. Let me tell you, my brain was exhausted after 3 hours of charcoal sketching, wiping, trying again. Also, linear perspective can be a challenge...again with the wonky lines problem.
Having a Beginner's Mindset opens so many opportunities for experiences and growth! Simply being curious instead of defensive is a great start. Add "maybe" and "why not?" to your vocabulary and see what you learn and how you make other people feel. On one particularly discouraging day in drawing class, I found myself feeling defensive and withdrawing from instruction. I thought I should have improved faster; I had expectations of myself that I had to confront with compassion and patience and it helped to remind myself that growth takes time and perseverance. I had to go back to "maybe"...maybe I'll do a little better next try, maybe it'll take practice to train my eyes to see...just doing that simple retracing of attitude was enough to refresh my spirit and find a bit more courage.
There is a kind of freedom in being open, listening, breathing, waiting, and welcoming new ideas, people, and experiences in. It's glorious that we have that choice!
Betty M Cribbs
12/1/2020 09:49:29 am
Wendy...once again you have landed on a perspective not limited to painting. I am so encouraged. I will ponder your wisdom for days (weeks, years) to come. Thanks
1/4/2021 06:12:55 pm
Thanks, Betty! I appreciate your comment...of course, I am like my art: a work in progress :)
I find that I have usually have an exact image in my head before starting but its a real challenge to draw it out on paper and even greater to paint it. It is why most people just do photography as it is far easier with digital image processing these days........but for me the painted image is much richer, more memorable, more emotive, more singular..... and worth the struggle.
1/4/2021 06:16:55 pm
Great comment, Bruce! I've never been able to visualize an end result, whether it's a drawing, painting, garden, interior decor. I just start creating and feeling my way until it gives me that contentment I'm aiming for. I envy those who know exactly what they want to see in the finished project, but I'm happy to stay in my own peculiar lane.
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Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...