I've been seriously trying to live just one day at a time. It's all about attitude. Some people call this 'mindfullness', being in the moment. This is a challenge! I have a lot of things happening to keep track of, and this is a new habit for me to form, so I am not always successful. But when I am, I am lighter and more thankful. The day goes better - it's worth the effort. It seems to me that any creative mode is one of being in the moment too. I've been doing that enough years that it comes easily there. High time to translate that into other areas of my life.
If you could paint anything in the world, and paint it very well, what would you paint? It's really the same question as, what would you like to say - because art is a language. Georgia O'Keeffe wanted to say, "take time to notice these lovely little flowers", so she painted them huge on very large canvases. Perhaps you are passionate about a subject or a cause and you want to try to express that in your painting. Do you want to say, "look how beautiful .... is?" Or are you more philosophical, and want to say, "see how it feels to be sad." - or, "see how it feels to be joyful." When you begin to grasp the idea that art is a language, and when you identify what you want to say with this language, chances are increased that your art will have an impact on the viewer, and perhaps even on the world. I can't wait to see what you want to say!
One thing that is so wonderful about teaching art, is watching as students begin to see the world in a new way. Colours and shapes take on new meaning. It becomes almost impossible to be bored. I have happily studied the negative space shapes in waiting room plants. I enjoy pondering the soft and hard edges that happen in clouds. I find continual delight in the changing of colours in our Canadian seasons. To discover painting is to find new eyes!
Art classes are like an amazing world unto themselves. Walking into an art class is like going to my happy place - everytime! You might be thinking - really? Are you kidding - everytime? Yes, really, everytime. Here are some of the reasons why:
1. Creative people are supportive people, not critical people. When we get together, it's a chance to cheer each other on. It's a place where encouragement happens all the time.
2. Art is about you, not about me. That means I want to encourage you to find your own unique expression in art. Your personal approach to art is what makes it great. Just like your signature is your own, your art style will become your own too. I am not in the business of making clones!
3. Art class is a guilt free zone. Life gets in the way of art often - for all of us. When you come to my art classes, I'm very happy if you have had time to do some work during the week but if you haven't - absolutey no guilt! Zero. If your life is busy and all the time you have to paint or draw is the 2.5 hours of a class per week, then I am happy to facilitate that for you.
4. When you really get creative, you leave every worry and concern behind. It's like an instant holiday for your brain - but without any expensive plane ticket.
5. I know what I am doing. I have been teaching art for over 17 years now. Right from the first I was aware that, as a teacher, my ability to communicate is just as important as my ability to make good art. Over the years, I've continued to hone both skills. If a painting technique or composition topic is difficult, I continually search for new ways to explain and reinforce it.
6. There is always something else to try, something else to learn. That applies to me too. It also means that art classes don't get boring. I would need several lifetimes to try all the different techniques and subjects that I would like to paint.
These are just a few of the reasons that I love art classes. It's a wonderful world!
May your jouney contain many happy suprises! Acrylic with glass collage, available from the artist.
And more on a fall theme - "Canadian Maple" by Cheryl O - Sold, private collection.
Latest painting - "Niagara" acrylic 24" x 30" available from the artist. Photo reference: D. Leitch
Wishing you a thankful heart this weekend. And if life is hard, and thankfulness feels hard to reach for, wishing you peace.
Here's some music by the Piano Guys, in collaboration with Peter and Evynne Hollens. It's one of my favourite songs of all times. Enjoy!
Thought it would be fun to post some autumn paintings. This one was done with paint pouring on top of a pre-textured background. Sold - private collection.