When you are really ‘in the flow’ the connection between eye and hand can become so strong that all thought disappears. Using the left/right brain model, the left, logical linear, language-based side is over-ridden by the right, creative, shape-based side. I love that feeling; it’s as if I step outside myself and watch me drawing. It’s as if I am a very long way off and it takes a conscious effort to come back.
When I’m working outside people often come up to see what I’m doing. I try not to engage in conversation because I’ve just set all my stuff up to paint, not talk. I can be quite rude in a dismissive way. Their first question is often “What are you doing?” Which doesn’t deserve an answer, now does it? I am standing in front of an easel, up to my elbows in paint, surrounded by art paraphernalia – isn’t it obvious that I am waiting for a bus, or perhaps fishing?
Most people want to tell me that their aunt/brother/cousin is a REALLY good artist. What can I say to that? Obviously my efforts aren’t as impressive.
I tell myself that anyone who stops to watch someone painting is just jealous. They simply wish that they were standing in front of the easel instead of me. So I’m the lucky one.
The point that I started out with is that some artists can talk while they’re working and I can’t. That’s one reason I rarely teach by demonstrating. The other is that I really don’t know what I’m doing most of the time. I said that to a friend the other day and she laughed in disbelief, but it’s true. I seem to approach things from different angles all the time – it’s always an adventure and I honestly never know if the picture will work out.
I teach by giving people the tools they need to start seeing differently and thereby drawing accurately and confidently. Simple exercises can help people shift from left to right brain perception and make drawing easier than they ever thought it could be. I find that people who say “I can’t draw but I’ve always wanted to” make the most remarkable progress by learning in this way. I love seeing their faces when they discover that they can draw after all.
It’s always good to learn by inspiration and imitation, and seeing someone demonstrate a method of working is very valuable. I’m just not very good at it! But I know someone who IS.....At the end of June (24th – 29th) I am going to be co-tutoring a painting holiday with fellow watercolourist Tonio Mallia. We will be taking a group of about 15 from Malta to Eriche in Sicily. Tonio is very good at demonstrating and I’m really looking forward to working with him. I think we’ll be a great team and have a lot of fun helping people to create memorable paintings of this picturesque town and its surroundings.
If you would like to join us on this adventure please contact email@example.com
I love to paint - and draw - and help others to discover their creative side too.....
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