Yesterday I wrote about Expressive Oil Painting and four questions proposed by the author, George Allen Durkee. Today I want to share the second of the questions.
What do you see emerging in your art?
Oh, how I loved answering this question because I’m seeing possibilities everywhere around me, and it’s exciting. That was my immediate response to the question. But then, I pondered it a bit more, and I saw where those possibilities were leading me, so I want to share a few additional thoughts here.
What’s emerging in my art now?
- Awareness of myself as an artist
- Belonging to the art community
- Confidence in my artwork
I smiled as these ideas came to mind in such a nice, neat order. I saw at once that I’d just outlined my own basic ABC’s for my study of art.
Let me share just a few thoughts on each of these.
Awareness of Myself as an Artist
Am I an artist? How many times have I asked myself that question? Am I really an artist? Or am I just a hopeless want-to-be who’ll never succeed? In the past, I saw the question as an either/or proposition. Either I was a good artist or I wasn’t an artist at all. Today, I see that being an artist covers a wide swath of territory, but good and bad aren’t part of it. I can be good in some things, not so good in others. I can have surprising successes and devastating failures. And through it all, it’s not who I am that matters, but what I do, and I do all those things artists do. I draw. I paint. I play with colors. I take part in art clubs. I share my art with others. Yes, I am an artist.
Belonging to the Art Community
Do you remember when I first started to draw? I was hesitant to even walk down the aisle of art supplies at Wal-Mart because I didn’t feel I belonged there. And do you remember when I first joined our local fine arts association? Oh, how intimidated I felt! I knew eventually someone would find me out and realize that I wasn’t a real artist at all and had absolutely no business being there. Well, that’s changed. I’m feeling comfortable now — comfortable at club meetings, and comfortable in the art supply aisle. I love strolling through art supply aisles, in fact. Even if I don’t need anything, I’ll stroll past art supplies in any store I’m in, just because it feels good. It really feels that I do belong there. As for club meetings, I’m a member of two groups now. I’m actively participating, and I’m excited to be recognized as an artist with something to contribute to our community.
Confidence in my Artwork
A and B have led to C. Becoming aware that I am an artist and gaining that sense of belonging have given me a newfound confidence in my drawing and painting. Over the summer I’ve made tremendous progress. I’ve learned ways to improve my pencil drawings, I’ve developed the ability to use art as a form of meditation, and I’ve seen my oil painting techniques improve in many ways. It’s a very good feeling.
And what’s best in all of this is that these ABC’s are only the start of the alphabet. I can look ahead and think of all that awaits me as I continue learning. Letters first, words next, entire sentences to come.
That’s how it feels. Like a child just learning to read and write, I have endless possibilities ahead of me.