Hello all,

 

I'm new to the group. I discovered Richard's website and accepted his invitation to his painting workshop that required I join your group. I'm really hoping this will help build my skills, but I'm posting here for different reasons.

 

I'd like to know how other artists feel about my question in the title of this post. I seem to constantly ask it of myself. Do others ask this same question? For the same reasons? I'm looking for some hard truths, (and truth be told, hand holding.)

 

I have always felt that I have the soul of an artist without the prerequisite talent. (Perhaps, there lies the problem.) I have an AA in Graphic Arts, but never pursued it because the kids needed me at home with them. While studying for that degree I discovered calligraphy and have taken classes and weekend workshops for the last 15 years or so, and although I have sold a piece or two, it's never been more than just a hobby. I do teach calligraphy to grade school children for two weeks every summer, but would never try to teach anything more advanced than that. 

 

When the kids grew up and moved away, I went to art school and got a 4 year degree in Fine Arts. I found that experience very frustrating as I'm used to the giving spirit of the calligraphy world, the exacting detail, the specifics of what tool to use when and how to use it. In my painting classes in college my instructors told me to "Paint what I see", and "Just play with the paint". If that was all there was to learning a new skill, I'd also be an astronaut and a brain surgeon! When I said that I wanted instruction; what brush to use for what, thick paint when and thin paint when, how to manipulate the brush to get the shape I need, what kinds of shapes should I use to make a particular image, I got deer-in-the-headlight looks from all of them. They actually said they would not teach me these things, that these were things I had to figure out on my own or I would simply paint like them. My printmaking teacher, sculpture teacher, and drawing teacher felt it important to instruct me in the basics at least, but the entire painting program was focused on concepts. When I pointed out that coming up with a concept was all well and good, but if I didn't have the skills to implement those concepts, what was the point, again, there was that deer-in-the-headlights look or a go-away-you-bother-me attitude. (Sometimes both.)

 

The result is that my painting is mediocre at best. (and painting was why I went to school to begin with) When you add to this my normal insecurities and the fact that I never sit and doodle, my fingers never twitch with the need for a drawing pencil, (although I will look carefully at things to see where the light falls and how the colors change, where the shadows are, etc.) I have to wonder...am I an artist or just pretending? Do I have an ego a mile wide to think it matters? Am I right to be frustrated with my educational experiences? Different people learn differently, so am I just a square peg in a round hole or is there something fundamentally wrong, specific to me?

 

I'm interested to hear what you as artists think and feel. Are my experiences similar to yours or unique to me? 

 

Delores

Views: 6348

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

So, it isn't just my experience, but those of others! Good, then I'm not just loosing my mind. Why in the world would the painting community do this? Why must each student re-invent the wheel? I just don't understand it. Does anyone here do any teaching and maybe have an answer for us?

 

Thank you Iwan, it makes me feel much better to know I'm not alone in this.

 

Delores

Hi Delores,  I want you to know that I am enjoying your posts....you sound just like us!!!!!  I know there are many who are showing some wonderful talent, but there are also many like you and me who are just starting out and really want to learn.  I live in New Hope, PA just off the Delaware River.  My husband is chronically ill and I am tethered to the house.  At age 63 I turned to painting just to face a challenge that could keep me engaged with the world.  

 

I am learning a lot and meeting some great people.  Do not be afraid...let your artistic spirt fly!!!!

 

Glad to meet you.

Marlene Ford

Thanks for the pep talk Marlene!

 

Delores

Hi Delores, my name is Linda and I live in England uk I agree with everything you say. I have not joined an Art College for the same reason; concept and unmade beds are all there is from what I can see. I hope I will be able to pick up lots of techniques from this online workshop. I have joined in today so please keep in touch. Good luck,!

Thank you Linda. If feels so good to have others understand or even agree with my experiences, because in college I was made to feel as if I was a misfit for wanting to learn skills.

 

I'm looking forward to this year's workshops with Richard. Tips and techniques, skills, that's what I'm looking for.

 

Delores

Hi Delores.  I too, am new to Richard Robinson's website and workshop and I have a few observations to share with you.  I live in Montana in a small town abutting Glacier National Park.  It is a CULTURAL VACUUM with no instructors, no schools, and only a few galleries specializing in bad "Cowboy Art" or what I call "Two Rocks and A Mountain Goat". 

Many years have passed since my formal education in the fine arts, so when I decided two years ago to change careers and learn to REALLY PAINT I somehow got it into my head that it would be easy.  HA HA HA !   NOT.

As I can see from our posted photos, we are all of a certain age.  We are not 6 year olds learning a new language or how to ski.  TIME ON THE SNOW is what my ski instructor told me.  Do one thing 10,000 times, not 10,000 things one time.  Also, as to "time", we have lives, responsibilities, families.  So, don't be so hard on yourself.

Now the good news........you found Robinson's website.  I find his attitude totally refreshing and his manner of explanation is honest and forthcoming.  I hope you signed up for his master class and master color as I did.  I have subscribed to an embarrassing number of online instruction websites  (there's that living in a cultural vacuum thing again) and I find that Richard's is helping me make the puzzle all click together. 

You are not unique in desiring validation for your struggles.  I'll share a funny story.  Last winter I was painting like a fiend, practicing, experimenting, struggling, hardly stopping to eat.  I would finish a painting and show it to my husband ( my only sounding board in this wasteland) and he'd make unhelpful comments like "I don't like that green" or "that's too dark". Finally, summer came and one evening he called me from the deck "Honey, come look at the moon".  I rushed out to see this  harvest moon glowing in the sky and said "Oh my God, look at that HUGE ORANGE MOON".  To which my husband said "What orange?  I see some gray around the edge.....".   HE'S COLOR BLIND ! 

So, he's barred from the studio.

Let's share more stuff here on this forum and help each other avoid the pitfalls of bad instructors and color-blind husbands.

Best, Kristine

 

Husbands! Don't even get me started! My children had to teach my husband how to find images in the clouds. He'd never heard of such a thing. His parents were very practical people, apparently, they never had time for such nonsense. Now he flaunts his new talent and delights in telling the grandkids what's floating around in the sky. So, there is hope for your husband. He just needs a little tutelage.

 

Thanks for the help,

Delores

Hi Dolores,

I just discovered your discussion and couldn't agree with you more.  I didn't go to art school post kids because a few artists warned me of this syndrome. I too believe in having a strong fundamental skill set and then letting it flow.  A very intuitive watercolor teacher once told me....learn all the rules, learn them well, and then forget them and just paint from the heart.

It took a lot to find a teacher/mentor who taught good basics.   I found painting more frustrating than enjoyable through this process, and although my skills are far from there, it is now starting to become fun....and this took years!   I am finding that foundation skills bring confidence, and confidence leads to more boldness and free flowing expression.  Hurray!

 

The schools are a real puzzle - they are so into freedom of expression that they forget about being grounded in the tools.  Very odd. 

Looking forward to this workshop together

Marina

 

 

 

Boy, it's good to hear you say that. It seems that others have had the same experience and it helps so much to know I'm not going through this alone. I'm taking a painting workshop this week (4 days, plein air) and the teacher is the same as all the others. She's very nice, but..I think I'm going to pull my hair out!

Humph!

 

Thanks again,

Delores

Marina Laliberte said:

Hi Dolores,

I just discovered your discussion and couldn't agree with you more.  I didn't go to art school post kids because a few artists warned me of this syndrome. I too believe in having a strong fundamental skill set and then letting it flow.  A very intuitive watercolor teacher once told me....learn all the rules, learn them well, and then forget them and just paint from the heart.

It took a lot to find a teacher/mentor who taught good basics.   I found painting more frustrating than enjoyable through this process, and although my skills are far from there, it is now starting to become fun....and this took years!   I am finding that foundation skills bring confidence, and confidence leads to more boldness and free flowing expression.  Hurray!

 

The schools are a real puzzle - they are so into freedom of expression that they forget about being grounded in the tools.  Very odd. 

Looking forward to this workshop together

Marina

 

 

 

Hi Delores,

I think the definition of artist is very hard to define. I would not consider myself an artist, but then someone who looks at my work who has no training will say I am. I have a very long way to go, and am really wanting to learn so much more, but think I will stick to web searches for good instruction. I have recently enrolled in a fine arts painting class at a local university, and like you, am totally frustrated. The artist is very good, but can't teach. We walk in, are given a subject, and instructed to paint it. that is it, I can do that at home, a total waste of cash and time. So, I think this venture will come to an end, and I will invest my money into a reputable on line art instuctor who can help not only the advanced artists, but those of us in the beginning and middle stages as well. Does Richard give good practical advice? I am a member here, but did not visit the sight that often, as my demands in life were rather busy. Now that things are slowing down, I need to find that just right artist to study with, would like to know more about what Richard has to offer. Kind of rambled there Delores, but back to your initial question - I tell my grandchilren "If you love to paint, and draw and create, than you have the heart of  an artist, and you are an artist." that is just how I see it, but to be accomplished enough to make my work worth something monetarely, well that would just be nice.

Hi Tammy,

I don't feel like I can call myself an artist, because I feel like such a kindergartener. I thought that if I had a BFA, I would feel it was okay to identify myself as an artist..not so.

I'd really like to know the reason behind the painting community's weird, no teach, philosophy. It doesn't make sense in any way. There is no other subject that I've ever studied where the teacher wouldn't teach the actual subject AND no one, teacher or artist, has come forward with anything close to an explanation.

As you mentioned with the class you are taking now, I've had the same experience, so I called the teacher of the painting classes offered by the community college nearby, told her my problem with other classes and she told me that she would not teach me what I wanted to learn either. She suggested I hire a tutor. (Grrrr!) I'm with you, just online classes from now on.

As far as Richard's workshop is concerned, I'm very optimistic. The videos I've seen have been specific and very helpful. (Although, I've only seen the freebies. I'm planning to buy a full length one soon.) This month's class was good because it got me to finish a painting. It was also good to see other interpretations of the same subject and the critiques by Richard made me think about things I hadn't before. For $20.00, it's a great valiue!

I'm looking forward to seeing your painting next month and mine too, for that matter.

Thanks for the response,

Delores

When I retired and decided to go to TAFE art school to get qualified, a teacher at the life class looked at my work and commented to me "I see you have learned to draw" then in a louder voice for the rest of the class "That will come against you" then he moved off. Modern art teachers you see, don't know and don't want to have to learn drawing or anything that requires time constraints like practising techniques. Accidental effects and personal identities are encouraged. More time is spent marketing art than doing it. Even framing has been eliminated. I think Bauhaus gave hitlerian personalities an excuse to dominate art. There has even been developed a special language, Art Speak. Pity because good abstract art has a unique and rare beauty particularly which is well practised by the chinese who go to great lengths to practice and learn the techniques. Even Bauhaus had it's own university. There is a place here to learn the abstract qualities of a painting. Notans. Welcome Delores, mix and join the converted.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

About

The Complete Artist is a friendly social network for all artists wanting to improve their painting.

Get my FREE Painting Lessons here!

Groups

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Events

© 2024   Created by Richard Robinson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service