My “ABC’s” of Art

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.



  1. My A,B,C would be:

    Always mindful of my surroundings – knowing that there is an entire planet at your feet to explore

    Become yourself in your work – anything that people critique about your work is a guide, not what they want you to be. Do the art that is you.

    Complete artists/critics focus on the work, not the subject matter – half the people in your life with talk about your work with the subject matter. The other half with talk about your skills and abilities as an artist. Your skills and abilities are the topic of your work, not the subject matter.

    Liked by 1 person

I'd Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s