It's coming around again .... SCHOOL. While it is still Summer time, My kids are starting to feel the weight of the impending school year. Summer projects still need to be completed, and most of our exciting activities have been checked off our list. Only a few more precious weeks of freedom!
One thing I can say I'm looking forward to about August is that my art classes start back up. This year I'm doing a little something different. I'm starting an advanced watercolor class. It will be Wednesday during the day for those who have taken art classes with me in the past. We plan to dig deeper and incorporate a book called, Art and Fear. The class will be a bit of discussion on art and life, then lots of experimenting and learning. We'll linger over our projects and hot tea longer and take each piece to the next level by starting with sketches and then bringing them back and forth to the group for discussion and feedback. I'll learn and grow right along with the students.
Tuesday evenings I'll continue the beginner to intermediate class from 5 to 6:15 . It is fine if you have to come a few minutes late, just come. Let this be a time that your children or husband step up to fix dinner while you enjoy painting. Seriously, you won't regret carving out this time for yourself. This class covers basic art theory such as light and shadow, perspective, composition, color mixing and much much more. We also talk about the emotional side of making art. I weave into the classes my theories on what I call, "Creative Truths." Here they are below:
(If you know these creative truths, you can jump ahead and read details on class pricing, get a syllabus, a supply list and sign up for either class here.)
Call yourself what you are.
If you love to create art, you are an artist. If you love to write music, you are a musician …
Proficiency in something or getting paid for it does not make you those things. Your passion for them does.
Quit trying to fit.
No matter how much you may want to, you can never completely divorce yourself from your own style, nor should you try to. It will follow you everywhere. You can get better and change your mediums and methods but your own unique style will always shine through.
Recognize that God made us to enjoy our work.
“ I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life--this is indeed a gift from God.”
- Ecclesiastes 3:18 - 19
Do things that scare you.
Art and creative pursuits make you vulnerable because they are so subjective. Embrace this vulnerability and fight through the fear. When we stop fearing failure, we are free to start being creative. Your mistakes are part of your process. Learn what to keep and what to erase and recognize that it is all part of learning.
Compare your work to your own work.
Yes, it is good to be inspired by other's work that you love, but when you are comparing, look to see how much your own creative work has grown and changed. A friend of mine keeps all of her old paintings so that each year she can go through her notebooks and see how far she has come!
Keep some white space.
Just as white space is important in art and design, it is also important to keep on our calendars as well. I'm still learning not to book up every moment, but when I leave some days unplanned and unscheduled, it leaves open space for refreshment and inspiration.
Learn to accept criticism.
Ask for feedback and develop thick skin to be able to receive it. Understand that most criticism can be used constructively. Begin to recognize what feedback is helpful, and flush that which is not.
When you think you are embarrassing yourself, keep working.
As we begin to make progress learning something totally new and outside of our comfort zone, the self-doubt kicks in hard. We think, who am I to do this or that, or why did I even think I could try this! This is where it is easy to get stuck. If not recognized for what it is, the fear of embarrassment can become an unconscious form of self sabotage. Don't let that happen.
Take the next right step
Don't wait to have it all figured out before you prayerfully do work you love. This quote by Agnes De Mille says it well, "Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what's next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." For me this means faithfully moving forward.
Now's the time to get details and sign up for either class. Hope you can join us!
Whether I am working with a client on their brand identity, teaching students or creating a watercolor piece, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...