Education. When I present skills, concepts and new techniques, I also learn. I learned …. a LOT, from my venture To Queen’s Gardens in Perth.
On the job, on going education. Perfect.
Yes. There have been days, of ‘not so’ perfect. And I most definitely will not share those with the public. But overall, it is a great gig.
Sculpture: Peter Pan
I left the green shaded groves, of the UWA Sunken Gardens. Leaving the calm, zen there.
I drove off, into the city. Clearly following my well researched and diagrammed directions. I had studied this. I knew the route.
In the city. Gosh. Who, would have suspected?
Where was my Plan B?
Needless to say, the first attempt to arrive at Queen’s Garden was met with Strike One.
I ended up, very close to my original starting point. Oops.
Do I give up and go home? Do I allow the city, and detours, to be victorious? I sighed. It WAS HOT. 90+ degrees. How bad, did I really want to go?
But, you know, I am Determined.
Someone just recently, made that comment – that I was very determined. I’m not certain if it that was a polite way of just saying, ‘Stubborn.’ I’m thinking it was though!
My “Stubbornness” won out.
I continued on my target goal to the Queen’s Gardens. Finally, 55 minutes later – I arrived! It should have taken 20, tops.
Victory. Ok I met some more road closures, detours. And had to walk from the river to the Gardens. (Bonus, more exercise for me!) The point is, I achieved my destination point.
I had a nice pleasant stroll around.
Relaxing. Taking photos of turtles, black swans, golden breasted waterfowl, massive ivory waterlilies on the deep blue ponds, wooden bridges, and the famous bench from the movie “Notting Hill.”
Towards the end of my stroll I came closer to the large statue that had caught my eye earlier. It had looked like a Pied Piper of sorts.
I was so immersed in the faces and features, the transcendent expressions the artist brought to life, I didn’t look first at the title or description.
Instead I engaged with the art. Section by section.
I loved the ‘rabbit’ like ears upon some of the figures.
Once I was finished with taking the photos, then I read.
I discovered the statue was based on JM Barrie’s story of Peter Pan.
The sculptor was Sir George Frampton. This was one of his 6 replicas he cast from his original mould. This sculpture was erected in Queens Garden in June 1929.
The original is in London, the Kensington Gardens.
Apparently with the original statue, Sir George…. acted without authorisation.
Overnight, without prior permission, he erected his Peter Pan statue unbeknownst to anyone.
He did get chastised…. however in his defense he stated that he’d simply wanted the children to be surprised. To awaken and see the ‘Peter Pan’ in the gardens ‘as if the fairies had done so overnight.’
I can just imagine how this explanation went over!
But, I think, he may have had a smidgen of ‘determination’ within himself. I don’t think he was going to allow anything to dissuade him from his goal. He knew what he wanted to accomplish.
And he did so.
Artists need to have this quality of Determination.
This almost wilful, stubbornness.
It is this, that enables them to overcome the 1001 odds that are stacked against them.
The challenges of the city proved to be an excellent educational tool. We can choose to give up too soon, or choose to be Determined.
The Arts in Perth: nurturing the self to foster creative identity and confidence.
What do I do? I teach art? perhaps. But at the core, the reality is I am sharing something far more important. I’m more of an encouraging ‘creativity mentor.’ A coach. I love to share artistic pathways that help the individual reclaim their innate identity, power and confidence. Balance through the arts.
Once in a while, I come across a client who has an ease within themselves straight off the bat.
This is not the typical beginner response. But their comfort at communicating, at expressing in paint playfully, in pure joyful Freedom – is Different.
It sets them apart.
They already are absorbed in the process. Totally engaged with the physicality of the action. In the act of painting all on its own, with no thought of reward or product or result.
That in all my experience is so, unique.
It is, in my opinion the highest benchmark of An Artist.
Today, for my first true, post back… I’ve featured Paola (a client) and each of the art works seen belong to her.
Paola hasn’t been with me for long period of time, a couple of terms is all. She first came to my course “Draw, Print, Paint.”
This was an intermediate to advanced level course. Not specifically designed for a brand new Beginner!
We drew…..in a loose, bold, super fast and free approach.
Extremely Non traditional.
No – straight lines! No – rigidity.
No – erasers. Are, your eyes open yet?!
No – concern over flaws, imperfections, wrong angles, etc.
Simply, drawing big and bold with a fat black Sharpie marker! The concept was to have Fun and to play.
On cheap papers. This diminishes fears “of wasting money.”
Loose, and easy…. watercolor painting
Paola next booked into Watercolors: Loose and Easy.
Once again, the course was not specifically designed for complete beginners.
But once again what Paola envisioned and created, was captivating. Her extraordinary absorption in the process is fascinating to see.
Each brush stroke, deliberate and meaningful.
The color was stroked upon the paper, and left. Alone.
Where it melted and merged and vibrated with its fellow notes.
There was no fiddling. No over working. No excess concern over flaws and imperfections in paper, paint, or marks made.
They were made, and then… let go.
She has a wonderful ability to find her own place of safety and security within herself enabling her to simply respond in creative liberation. Without a lot of coaching, coaxing, guidance from myself.
I’d like us all, to be able to feel that free to express our own voice, in our own words, without fear of reprisals. Of being called out for some perceived small imperfection or ‘mistake.’
Well….. we are, Human!
One of my personal, favourite words and philosophies over the past couple years has been, and is – Wabi Sabi.
If, you look it up you’ll discover lovely beautiful things about it.
The concept is that there is beauty to be seen and found, in the Imperfect. In the unfinished. And in the Impermanent.
I’ve done several series and posts on The 7 Days of Zen, and wabi sabi elements you might have a read on if you’d like.
Creativity requires a sense of ‘safety.’ Our creative imagination will refuse to come out to play, until it feels secure. Safe. When it knows it has the utter freedom to be authentic, its own self, imperfect and flawed as it is!
We will not, see fresh new inventions, new medical, tech, science breakthroughs – in environments of stress, fear, negativity. The fear of being vulnerable to attack, causes the creative side, our clever side to stay hidden. Buried.
Trying to excavate the hidden creative buried far beneath the layers, deep in the crevices, that almost nothing can pry out – can be exhausting work. It takes immense patience. Time.
And sometimes, someone else’s eyes to see that gem and make mention of it, softly and kindly. Repeatedly.
At work, what I really do, is: I campaign against fear.
It is Fear, that so often leads many to replicate someone else’s words. Or their looks. Or opinion. Or someone else’s painting. There is No need!
My philosophy is:
“YOU, Are absolutely every bit – just as interesting, good, valuable and faceted – as Monet/Madonna/Oprah or whoever it is that is being copied.”
Probably more so. Please let us in, tell us your story.
Thank you Paola,, for so kindly and with courage, allowing me to feature your work on my first post back. I am grateful. Debi
By inferring, or hinting at things just outside their view, my objective is to engage the viewer more.
Sketches Fast and Loose
Photographs often, though not always, spell out a subject with exact precision. Recording textures, veins, size, color, width, weight. Documenting location, species and the individual. And some types… of art styles do as well.
Which is great, when that is what is called for. When that is the feeling you are wanting to convey.
A cataloguing of the details.
However, its different with fast, five or ten minute sketches.
Sketches done on the fly, capture the mood and essence of the thing.
Conveying the ‘feeling.’
Rather than struggling to achieve 5 star wonders with ‘complexities.’
I feel, Subjects are more authentic, truer to their essence, when at rest. At ease.
When allowed to be in a natural setting.
In nature. Out in the forest, sitting amongst the rocks and logs. Being at home upon the banks of the river.
These poses, can give the viewer more. Whether its in the form of photography, sketches, drawings, paintings, or other art forms.
This sketch, reflects this.
The limited palette of earthy browns and forest green, simple yet sufficient. Hinting at woodland themes. My subject sat leaned up against the tree logs and branches, head tucked.
Maybe she was the young mother, or older sister, or aunt. Who knows? But she kept an eye on the child in pink. An active one at that.
The hike there, to the bridge was fun. OK a challenge! But obviously, the child in pink still had plenty of go. Her watcher…. not so much. I smiled.
Using this format, and this pose as well “downward gaze” shifts the viewers minds. To make them, ponder a bit.
Make the Viewer … Wonder
Take the viewer out of the little box where it is all explained already and nothing has been left unsaid. Take them out the world they are currently in, and help them to imagine the world this subject resides in.
Allude to mysteries and things around the corner.
Hint of magic yet to come.
Contemplations of the River
If a book has been so well explained and summarized, there is nothing new or exciting left to be revealed by looking further in the book, we will not.
So too with our art.
With our paintings, sketches, drawings, photographs. We will look for the exact time that it takes to define the plot.
And then, we move on. Period.
I think, as an artist, I prefer to try to keep the viewer wondering. Just a bit.
Wandering through the scene, through the book… looking for, more.
I do not, want my art to be ‘all spelled out’ and perfectly revealed in every fine detail.
No. I’d like there to be a lovely fusion of lots of soft edges tempered with just the right balance of crisp edges to draw the eye. With warm colors telling you what is front, and cool paler colors speaking of far distant things. Lines that are curved to soften the mood, with diagonal directionals for subtle hints of movements.
I’d like my sketches to be authentic. My art to be original, and real. And me.
I aspire to keep my viewers, wandering through my artwork.
Realising, of course, not all are going to be lovely frame worthy pieces. Thats ok.
I’d much rather you, let your imagination free and loose; than for me to have a frame worthy work every time.