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thoughts on art

Come Wednesday, 9.30 a.m, my housemate Seb and I will be waiting at a tram stop, headed to our art class. We’ve been taking classes with a fine artist, a fantastic man named Phillip Doggett-Williams. Every week, we get to experiment and explore our art under his expert guidance. Among the gems of wisdom we have received thus far, is this one:

“There really is no such thing as bad art. The only time art is bad is when you are trying to pretend to be something you are not.”

So true. Art is a genuine expression of yourself, your thoughts and experiences, and comes from deep within. Imitation is fine for practice, but eventually you must connect with who you really are in order to produce something sincere. I also asked about self-doubt, and he told me from his experience,

“Persistence always overcomes self-doubt.”

… which I believe can be applied to anything. So, if you believe that you are destined to be doing something, but you’re not doing it right now… get stuck into it! Jump in and give it the best you’ve got. And keep going!

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I think any day where I can spend three hours painting (which felt like only five minutes) on large, expensive sheets of paper is a day well spent. On top of that, I cleared out my brother’s old apartment. I even got to spend some chill out time with Nuwan, eating lunch, writing and drinking coffee.

I was feeling so much like myself after all that, that I decided to get a haircut too. I love having my hair short and streamlined, it feels so right and I like running my fingers through it later.

These painting classes are so awesome. It’s all my dreams for the year coming true, one brush stroke at a time under the guidance of a great teacher. This process feels amazing, and indescribably so.

I’ve decided that these three words will make my life easier. Love. Gratitude. Appreciation.

Because whenever things get me down, I just need to think of everything I’ve ever had in my life. Up till this point, even if it all goes downhill from here (which I don’t think it will anyway), I will have experienced so much love, abundance, and joy. I want it to get better.

I love people who are able to talk passionately about the things they truly enjoy. It doesn’t even matter what it is, I just like hearing about things that make each individual happy. I love seeing passion on someone’s face.

I also love our neighbours, they are supremely cool. The pictures above are from Race Day, where we had a chilled out afternoon in each others company.

I wrote this on a page of my sketchbook today, after being lost in a drawing.

“What is it about art? What is is about creation that fills the insides and provides such meaning to our abilities?”

You can tell, I was feeling deeply satisfied. Drawing can stop all the questions, and as I get better at it, I marvel at how far I have come. Sometimes, I step outside myself and objectively think: “Wow, this is a human being that has just found a way to draw a picture.” And that in itself, blows my mind. It is just so beautiful to see. From crayon houses to now.

Sometimes, as artists, we can be overly critical about our work, to the point where we cease to produce work. But as long as I’m trying, as long as I think that this is what I want, then isn’t that wonderful? Because this is my life I’m watching unfold on paper here. No external measure will ever dictate how I want to live.

Speaking of external measures, there are some pretty dumb articles out there that need to be taken with a handful of salt. Stuff about ‘looking cool’ and ‘how to behave’. I read one today and was so offended! The only way we would ever be required to behave is like ourselves, awkwardness, confidence and all. Ah well, it takes all kinds.