In this post, I’m sharing my 2 day painting adventure last weekend, as well as thoughts on ‘Beginner Lessons in Artistry.’
I have always fancied myself as a bit of a painter.
I was creating art before I could walk and my Mum still has my first painting on her bedroom wall.
In recent years I have been tinkering around by myself entertaining the idea further.
Then last summer, I happened upon Jeanne Oliver somehow.
She fosters a creative network of tactile artists who teach both on-line and in her Colorado studio.
Timing is everything.
Her abstract approach to painting is RIGHT up my alley, and I jumped at the opportunity to learn with her, taking both her on-line classes in succession.
I have to admit I was hesitant, but Eric encouraged me to sign up for the adventure.
Stepping Outside The Box
Learning something new is uncomfortable.
I wasn’t sure about attending this class, partly due to the cost, and also I didn’t really believe in myself.
We have the power to tell ourselves all sorts of stories that are simply NOT true.
As well as being told we perhaps are not good enough.
So we get REALLY good at talking ourselves out of something we really want, without giving it a proper chance.
And if I’m honest, as a digital artist, I also felt a bit like an ‘imposter’ stepping into this new space.
Fear is a real show stopper to making the magic happen.
On Friday morning, Ella asked if I was excited.
All I could think was, ‘I’m going to a place I have never been, with people I have never met, doing something that I really don’t know how to do AND I have no idea where my next meal is coming from.’
And that was the whole point of this exercise.
- To step outside my comfort zone.
- Connect with other artists.
- Learn how to paint.
Jeanne also went above and beyond in accommodating my food allergies and I was MORE than well fed – I think I would take another class with her just to enjoy the food 🙂
Brené Brown says:
- ‘There is no courage without vulnerability‘
- ‘Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.’
I could not agree MORE to these 2 statements after my experience this weekend.
When the Teacher becomes a Student.
I have spent a number of years inspiring students through my own classes and on-line education endeavors.
And so it was REALLY interesting to be in your shoes for a while and have the opportunity to see the journey of learning through a student’s eyes.
- Understand those small details that are often taken for granted and overlooked.
- Have compassion for where you are at the beginning.
- Be genuine and insightful in the encouragement of learning.
This part of the experience was neither expected nor intentional, but without a doubt will make me a better a teacher in my own classes.
How this all relates to you and your digital artistry or scrapbooking.
Lessons I already knew, and share often with you, were reiterated.
1. Give Yourself Permission
- Allow yourself to make mistakes.
- Try something NEW, be it a new product, technique or approach.
- Create without judgement or comparison.
Understand that art is always in the eye of the beholder.
‘What someone else thinks of your art is none of your business.‘ is an interesting approach to not caring as much.
And if you don’t like your art, then embrace the challenge to making it better.
Everyone starts somewhere and your journey has no time limits or boundaries.
Every part of the process has to resonate and be unique to you.
2. Define Your Own Process
There is no right or wrong way to create art.
One of the biggest obstacles to establishing a painting practice for myself has been thinking that I might be doing it wrong.
- You might like to plan your designs – I am one that doesn’t, neither in my digital or tactile work.
- You might stick to the same color palettes or be a multi-spectrum artist.
Emulate other artists and experiment a LOT to discover what you like and don’t.
Do more of what you love and discard what does not serve you.
Knowing this information can take some time, but will ultimately help you establish a creative voice or style.
Let go of the expectations and ONLY do what naturally or joyfully works for you.
3. Do The Work
You have to show up and make the magic happen.
Talent can only take you SO far.
To elevate your artistry you have to prioritize.
Create space in your life to do this thing you LOVE and nurture it regularly.
Practice. Practice. PRACTICE.
Have patience and pace yourself.
Photo Credit: Cherie Wilson
4. Find Inspiration
Keep yourself motivated.
- Make your goals visible as a constant reminder.
- Connect with people who have the same interests, to keep you passionate.
- Join a community to keep you accountable
- Accept challenges to push you outside your boundaries.
- Take classes to inject new ideas.
- Keep your process fresh by adding a new product or technique once in a while.
Know that your art is always going to evolve.
5. Trust Yourself
Either you’ve got this, or the world won’t implode if you don’t.
It’s just art and photos people.
I also find it interesting how your life experience can help support you in your artistry.
If you enjoy other arts and crafts, consider how what you already know, can help you in this new pursuit.
I have been stunned at just how much of my digital artistry translates to this new medium.
I have also personally taken a recent interest in setting boundaries.
And of course this has EVERYTHING to do with creating an environment for creativity to begin.
It always helps to have someone believe in you, but please know you only need your own permission.
When you think you can, the path becomes wide open to making those dreams a reality
Continue being a student.
And take more classes, both in a studio setting and on-line.
The investment in terms of both time and money have been SO worth it to me.
There is definitely something very REAL about making the most of an experience when you have paid for it.
I love that this opportunity has enabled me to grow as a:
ALL in just ONE weekend.
And isn’t being a better human what life is all about?
Keep the momentum going.
Run with the opportunity, maximize the potential and believe in the ‘Yes I Can.’
- Trust in self
- Ask for help.
- Create space both physically and mentally to do the work.
- Surround self with like-minded people.
- Let the process be what it is.
- Enjoy the journey.
So what’s your next move?
I might just be an abstract painter after all.