I am an abstract artist, working intuitively most of the time.
I once believed that I didn’t have the ability to draw. I thought that an artist was born with this special talent that just spewed from within, automatically, without effort. Defined by your genetics, you could have or not have the gift. If you had it you could just pick up a pencil and magically express the subject, whether it be people, animals, a still life or a landscape. Therefore, if I couldn’t pick up a drawing instrument and intuitively know how to recreate an image, then I did not have the ability to draw.
Then I took a drawing class. That belief changed! The first session my instructor said, “Everyone can learn to draw, even if you don’t think you can. The truth is, you can learn how. Now whether you can draw with “flair”, is another thing.” Before that, I didn’t believe that my brain could be trained to “see” and then create a likeness of the subject matter.
Fortunately, my instructor was right. I did learn how to draw. To my amazement, I was drawing people, animals, and still life drawings after just two session of paying attention. Enthralled with my new knowledge, I began to draw everyday. There was an excitement I hadn’t felt in a while. Not only did I discover a new creative space to explore, a new inspired direction emerged in my abstract paintings.
As I draw my mind finds new doors – new directions. Opening these doors, I find new visions. It’s like breathing crisp fresh air.
What I’ve learned from this experience:
- When I am creating, I feel the most alive. Every part of me is engaged in the effort; it’s an experience of mind, body and soul.
- I love to learn through experience. When I’m learning something new, my potential is expanded and I continue to grow my self and my spirit.
- I cannot create in a vacuum. When I step outside of my comfort zone and learn something new, a space is created. I might be drawing, inspired by something I’ve read, viewing work by other artists, or just sitting in a quiet spot by the lake and taking it in with all of my senses – the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings.
- The fresh idea that pops into my head seemingly “out of nowhere” while I’m in the shower or driving down the highway, isn’t really “out of nowhere”. It comes from creating an open inviting space by stepping out of my comfort zone, having new experiences, and a willingness to allow it in. It’s a fresh, free and loose feeling. When I recognize this as a creative aha, then I’m opening up more space for more aha’s. I’m being a deliberate creator yet guided by something larger than myself.
Open to discovery, I can allow my experiences to open that creative space. With a receptive, explorative heart, I see everyday things in a new way. Whatever the setting, the freshness of the experience has the possibility of opening up new doors of creativity.
Pick up a pencil. Draw. Take a lesson if you like. Or if you’ve never tried making an abstract piece, just think of the fun you might have!