Learning a new set of skills can be daunting, scary and hard. A big problem for adults coming back to art after many years is high expectations – too high expectations. If you haven’t done any drawing since you were 7, you are likely to be picking up where you left off.
Unless you’ve been able to continue your drawing, development is unlikely – you know what it’s like if you haven’t played piano for years (I can’t play my flute anymore, it’s very old and needs maintenance [as do I!] but obviously I haven’t practiced for a long time and my embouchure not up to scratch). Maybe you haven’t played golf for a few years only to return and find your swing is off.
Your drawing, painting and creative muscles needs constant attention – regular and frequent SMALL STEPS and exercise. Remember the steps it took for you to learn how to write your name – the dotted letter diagrams we followed? Learning to draw and paint is a similar process, incremental baby steps are required.
Many people tell me they can’t draw, I am a firm believer that we are all born creative, however, some of us get the chance (or make the chance) to pursue creative endeavours or maybe your creativity is pursued in a different way. I’m referring to my super creative engineering husband, among many, one of his skills is creating solutions for his clients.
More than talent, desire and perseverance are keys to learning and developing a skill in drawing. Few people do not have the ability to learn to draw, if you can sew or knit, play golf, write a letter, you can learn to draw.
More important skills are patience and observation along with key tools - time and focus.
Time to relax and enjoy the process of creating without the pressure of having to make something. As soon as the artist decides to create a masterpiece – today is the day – it’s all over. Too much pressure makes us focus on all the wrong emotions and decisions, performance anxiety (I’ve only got today to do this), we’re too focussed on the result instead of enjoying the moment and focussing on what the paint is doing on the paper.
Whether you want to be a professional artist or you just enjoy the process of creating, it’s important to exercise your creative muscle regularly and frequently – just like a body builder or marathon runner the more you practice the more you can flex your muscles.
Poetry in watercolour is made in the freedom of the here and now.
ciao bei pittori!!
Ciao Amanda, enjoy Italy. Maybe we can catch up when you get back? Give me a call on my new number 0225305645.
Bon voyage . How exciting it must be after all the lockdowns. Enjoy 😊
Yes use it or lose it… if I haven’t painted for a while I feel like an absolute beginner. Difficult to start after periods of idleness. The machine needs maintenance, frequently. So true.
Yes it’s so true. I never thought I’d be able to draw but took lessons and did a lot of drawing until one day I could. Happy travels.
Hi Amanda I know that feeling of panic well. There is never enough room in the suitcase especially for this time of year when you have to take clothes for all seasons. Hope you have a fabulous trip and find some exciting painting locations. In Italy that's guaranteed. Good luck and safe journey. Your so right about painting being a journey not a destination.
Fantastic advice to practice and exercise that creativity regularly. It’s something I must consciously routine in my week, or it’ll never happen.
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Poetry in watercolour is made in the freedom of the here and now. Amanda Brett
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Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working - Pablo Picasso
There are no mistakes in watercolour, just some extra surprises!!
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