Another important aspect of art is new people coming to it. Think about this: There would be no art, eventually, unless people who have not made it before step up and learn how to make their own personal expressions and then do it. In this way artwork continues to be born and refreshed generation after generation. If people didn’t find the energy to create, there would be no art.
So we come back to my private student, Betty, who is just beginning to find her vision at age 77. This entails a lot of self-discovery—just the journey to learn what her particular inspiration is can be a winding path. But by DOING her art, she’ll learn, better, what moves her.
Then there’s the practice: learning skills simply by the act of painting. There’s choosing what to paint, mixing color, learning how to move the brush on the canvas. There is no way, other than by doing it, to learn the skills that make one a painter (or potter, photographer, sculptor, writer…). Betty is doing this and I celebrate her.
I offer here an excerpt from the introduction to the book, Art and Fear, by David Bayles and Ted Orland: “This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart. After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people—essentially (statistically speaking) there aren’t any people like that. But while geniuses may get made once-a-century or so, good art gets made all the time. Making art is a common and intimately human activity, filled with all the perils (and rewards) that accompany any worthwhile effort. The difficulties artmakers face are not remote and heroic, but universal and familiar…”
It is by human beings’ willingness to continue to create that artwork gets born. We need art in this world. Art is made by mere mortals, like us. We don’t have to be masters to start, and we won’t be. We don’t need to create masterworks. But we need to step up. So I’d like to encourage those of you who have not taken those first steps, to BEGIN. Any of you who have quit, please BEGIN AGAIN. And those of us who are actively creating, to KEEP AT IT! There will be no art without us, and nothing new without students, like Betty, answering the call.
Love to you all,