How many times have you wanted to try something like oh, say, oil painting, collage, or mosaics, but didn’t because you thought, “I’d suck at this anyway!” Me neither. But then again, we’re courageous.
Okay, I’m being a little grandiose about it – but really – to create something artistically takes a certain amount of courage and that’s the reason I adore art so much. Painting, music, sculpture, and mixed media, prose – all of it enthralls me.
Art gives one the chance to really explore the self. And certain individuals give us inspiration. There have been pioneers in every art form. For example, remember when Christo, the Bulgarian artist and his wife, Jeannne-Claude, did all those “wrapped” pieces, and by pieces I mean huge installations like wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin, The Gates in Central Park, and the Surrounded Islands of Miami? Artholes had a field day with this work, exclaiming there was a certain profundity in it. But Christo and his wife maintained that they were simply creating things of joy and beauty and new ways of seeing old landscapes. That’s it. Art for art’s sake. As for their critics, many of whom see Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work as vulgar or overstated, Christo replies, "I am an artist, and I have to have courage ... Do you know that I don't have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they're finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain." (Well, he could always take a picture.)
The point is to follow your vision – for whatever it is you think you might want to try. Imagine Christo trying to sell his ideas? It had never been done before and it was outrageous. Didn’t stop him.
Painting? Sculpting? Drawing? Violin? Try it. Who cares if you’re good or not? Besides, the more you do something, the better you’ll get anyhow. Or you’ll chuck it and try something else. I’ve always wanted to paint – but thought how can I paint if I can’t sketch? Which was crazy because I never even tried sketching so why would I assume this? And what’s the big deal anyway? The people from MOMA or the Norton weren’t coming over in black turtlenecks to critique me. So, I started painting. I’m using acrylics and then my plan is to graduate to oils. Why? Even though I could huff linseed oil until the cows come home (I love that smell) I’m a little intimidated by oils – they seem serious - plus acrylics wash off so easily and dry fast. I wanted to at least get a few paintings under my belt before I ventured on to Oil Land. I have one more painting to do
(I’ve completed four so far) and then I’m going oil. You know what they say, once you go oil – the paints get more expensive.
Just get out there and be an artist. There’s something very satisfying about creating something. You don’t really know for sure how it’s going to come out – it’s an amazing journey. And that’s such a great part of it – the ride you go on until your creation is finished. When I’m sitting at my easel painting, it’s one of the few things that really makes me focus on the NOW and just takes me away (kinda like Calgon). It’s like a vacation without going anywhere physically – but the joy it brings to the mind is so wonderful! (And much cheaper than a week in Cabo.)
The great dichotomy of art is that it brings us out of ourselves and yet back into ourselves. We learn things about our own self when we create. Latent talents may emerge – giving us renewed confidence in ourselves that may spill over into other areas of our lives. Courage breeds courage.
And don’t worry about lessons. Sure they can help, but use your instincts. Does that guitar beckon you? You can learn chords on your own just as well as from a teacher. If you feel you want to paint on plywood or cardboard or a barn door – do it! That’s the great thing about art – it’s one of the few areas in life where there are no rules except for maybe: No timidity allowed!
Go forth and create.
And that’s the View from this Art Lovin’ Broad.
Sign up for their mail list and get a FREE ebook!