Its now in the third month of the year and I’ve not written a word about 2014. Like, what exactly am I doing? Yes, I will concede that last year took the cake in terms of productivity & shows & new work - but now what?
The question of ‘now what?’ is terrifying. It creates space for 1) opportunity and 2) failure. Rather than do the emotionally courageous thing of allowing myself to sit in that space and be at peace with myself & my work - I decided to take an art class! It started in February and was maybe the smartest thing I’ve done this year.
The class is ‘Painterly Painting: Impressionism to Expressionism.’
Which my mind translated to: ‘Copying styles of good painters from 80+ years ago.’ That is pretty much the opposite of what I’d normally do in my studio - and I wanted a class to challenge me - so 2 days before the first meeting I signed up.
What the class turned out to be was a group of 10-12 women with some of the most amazing backstories. Some are photographers, some are world travelers, (1 works in advertising like me!), but we’re all in this studio to discover something about painting & the world & ourselves and that is such a beautiful thing.
I don’t think I realized this in my undergrad experience. Not because my professors didn’t tell me. I just probably wasn’t listening.
Best thing about the class? After a few hours of painting, before we all clean up and go home - we spend a few minutes talking about each of the pieces we’ve created.
The teacher asks us what we liked, what we struggled with, what we’d do differently...and after talking about it for a few the class applauds you and your work. Being in a space with supportive, enthusiastic women who are excited to share with you what a few hours of painterly exploration has looked like & wrapping the whole experience up with applause?! I don’t remember the last time I felt so affirmed.
Applause aside, I’m shocking myself with what I’ve been creating. A few weeks in and I’ve done 1) the first abstract piece I’m not embarrassed by (this is a really big deal) 2) a cityscape//street scene that blindsided me with color//texture//movement. I can honestly say I didn’t see either of these coming.
More stories of continuing education classes to come...