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Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Getting serious about art

Today I'm talking to artists young and old, amateur and professional, who exhibit art and fine crafts at local galleries and outdoor art shows--and even those who make art and don't show their work at all.

Artists are a mixed lot, no doubt about it. I might be stretching it to call some of them artists. Don't be too quick to judge. Many are serious about their art, investing time, money and precious energy in it. Only a few have formal fine arts degrees. Such training involves exposure to many disciplines and contact with other art students that stimulates effort and competition. But many artists can't deal with the pressure of grades and a structured format. What are they to do?

Begin--anywhere. If you are serious, you'll get where you want to go; but no one will do it for you. Find classes at your local recreation or senior center, a community college or painting workshop. Enroll in a correspondence art course or (gasp) paint along with a public TV instructor. More than one successful artist has started out painting "happy little trees."

In 1970 my husband gave me a set of watercolor paints and this gift changed my life. I was discouraged when the local art college told me I couldn't enroll because only serious art students could take day classes. I had four children in school; night classes were not an option. I thought taking a YMCA class would be a poor substitute, but I was wrong. That class, solid in fundamental watercolor techniques, was a launching pad for me. I painted constantly, explored museums and galleries, read art instruction books and magazines and eventually took more than 70 workshops in painting, drawing and applied arts. I'm still learning new things every day.

I'm serious about art.

Artists like me--and possibly you--find hazards in the do-it-yourself program. Sometimes we become too single-minded about a medium or technique. We risk weak development of important skills and frequently suffer from lack of confidence. But every difficulty can be overcome--if you're serious. Anyone with normal mental and physical capabilities can master art skills. Like the characters in the Wizard of Oz, you already have inside you what you need to reach your artistic goals. You just have to believe in yourself. It takes Practice, Patience and Perseverance.

You become a serious artist when you realize that your art education never ends.

And it's never too late to create.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks you, Nita.
I'll keep these 3P in my mind...Practice, Patience, Perseverance. I'm not a good painter right now but I won't give up to be.. CHJ

1:37 PM  
Blogger The Crusty Crone said...

Thank you. Thank you for the motivational post.

One of my fave sayings is:
"Just Do It"

Believe it or not, I came up with that saying before Nike did...whodda thunk I should have gotten a copywrite on it. Oh well.
Crusty

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Jan A said...

I written out the 3P's and hung them in my studio. thanks Nita for the inspirational words.
JA

8:51 AM  

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