Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where I Stand Sunday

I am standing at the easel.  I haven't gotten on my soapbox in I feel like writing about that feeling of accomplishment - that feeling of being successful in your daily grind and knowing that so much is right in what you have strived to go forward with in life.

I happened upon an email several weeks ago from Wet Canvas ~ an artist's network where 'like' people can share ideas, learn from others, and just plain network.  There was an online FREE (there is the keyword) weekly (two hours each Sat and Sun) workshop offered by artist Johannes Vloothuis, a representational landscape artist.  I signed up and joined the (now about 2,000) other artists and interested people about week 3 or 4 in a livestream classroom.  

Vloothuis is giving some great instruction on using photos when you paint landscapes.  Every artist, and I don't care how proficient you are, should continue learning.  Although I am not a big landscape painter, I always want to improve and understand the process better.  

Even if you have never painted a landscape and never wanted to, as an artist, there are little gems that you can pick up by taking a class like this. Each time I walk away from something like this, I see myself doing better and knowing more and having greater confidence.  And there are gems being given out for the taking in Vloothuis' class.  Knowledge is power!!

This week I am more surprised how that old saying of 'what goes around, comes around'
has a refreshed meaning for me.  My wheels have seemed to jump up out of the rut they were in.  This has happened because I have kept my nose down..I have continued to keep the wheels turning, paired with the enthusiasm I see around me - I am moving forward and I like it!

Never close a door.  Never think you can't. Never give up on something that you are passionate about. Success can come in that very dark moment...if you perservere - that little glimmer will shine and you can grab it to illuminate your world! (And yes, I have wiped the last painting I am doing 3 times now, but this feeling has NOT waned one bit.)

So what's the secret to keeping this 'high' in tact?  Practice, practice, practice and do it consistently (for me, that means EVERY DAY) with conviction and use what you know to make it work for you!  This is hard for me to write, but I cringe when friends and relations tell me I am 'gifted'
or I have a 'talent', yes, literally cringe and shake my head.  (I wish to tell ALL of them, "Tell me what you like about this artwork, or what feelings it provokes in viewing it?") That's what I am striving for - creating a response to what I am saying in my art. 

Oh, and back to what I was saying... 

If others only knew, how many years I have tried to learn, taken workshops with other artists, attended college level ART courses (while trying to become a teacher - at the same time), read books, taken marketing courses, business courses, stood at the easel and put into practice and practice and fail and practice.  Even in my regular elementary classroom (when I wasn't really a 'practicing' artist), I taught about artists, I expressed my 'vision'  and 'how I saw something' to help kids expand their early view of our world.  I thought about art and how I could incorporate it into teaching every day!  (So many subjects spill over into art.)

One doesn't just buy some paints and walk up to the easel and paint. 
There is so much more to know and learn.  The ART world is a huge place!  
You have to look in the most unexpected places with your eyes wide open -
AND the opportunities are there - the sky is the limit! 
Will I continue to feel this way? Perhaps...but being an artist can have it's ups and downs just like anything in life or worth doing.  Today I just want you to join me with the 'good' feeling!

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.
Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on.
There are several others who also write this on Sunday, see sidebar.


Dana Cooper said...

Well said Patti, take a bow. I too cringe at the "you are so talented, I can't draw a stick figure" kind of comment. Only those who have seen it from where you stand can really get it!

Leann said...

One thing I hear said by artists once in a while that makes me crazy "I don't want to look at any new art (or listen to any new music) because I don't want to be influenced by it." Aaaargh!! Look at everything, let everything touch you. Yes, it is the artist's job never to stop learning.