Bruce Katlin Creates And The Running Artist

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Let's Get It On!

Recently, I started to paint and draw again after a three decade hiatus. I never stopped creating but my painting and drawing tools had been in a drawer for a long time while I pursued other mediums. Color and shaped kept nagging to be committed to paper, so I dusted off the acrylics and brushes and started to paint. Wow! What joy. What a true joy it is to get reacquainted with my old friends, brush and paint. 

My wife tells me that when I paint, I am appear to be completely immersed and utterly free. She's right, I do feel what I sometimes experience when I meditate: without mind. When I have or am in my mind it only serves my learned and often used resistance to creativity. (See Steven Pressfield's, The War of Art.) Some of the benefits of being free and of no mind extend to those around me, as I cease sharing my endless ideas, musings and wonderments by keeping my gob shut.

I do consider myself an Artist however, I want to learn technique, as I have an insatiable desire to learn how to do "that". So, I recently registered for the online class, Get Your Paint On taught by Lisa Congdon and Mati McDonough. We're in the first week of the class and so far I have enough inspiration and excitement to carry me long into the future with painting tools in hand. As a teacher, I know how difficult the profession can be. There are a multitude of learning styles, personalities, and expectations to manage. I have attended art and music classes in the past and in my experience it is the rare instructor who truly loves to share his or her passion, knowledge and experience with his or her students. Many unfortunately, pass on their frustrations of not being full-time and handsomely compensated artists to their students. The price of their bruised egos is high and charged to their students. Yesterday, a middle-aged colleague of mine relayed her experience when, as a four year old her art teacher told her that the giraffe she had so proudly drew was "completely wrong". That was over fifty years ago and the hurt still shone in her eyes. So far, I have only witnessed care, compassion and professionalism from Mati and Lisa. 

Like many others, I have put restrictions on what I thought was possible and after being on the Journey for fifty-four years I have let myself out of my self-imposed prison. I am free and of no mind, (at least when I'm painting and with flora and fauna). The only restrictions put on creativity are self-imposed for the most part. I do agree with recent research that in traditional learning settings, i.e., classroom, that the teacher is the one who really learns something. The old saw says, "If you want to learn something teach it." I completely agree. Every time I teach a class or coach I learn and re-learn. I don't know how it works; I only know that it does, so, I know that I want to share what I learn with others so that I can retain and build on what I learned. 

Last week Terry and I were sitting on a park bench when a toddler wearing a long green wool coat and a blue hat that matched is piercing blue eyes looked up at the equally blue sky, raised his hands over is head and shouted with excitement and awe, "Wow! Wow! Wow!