My Introduction to Art

My First Foray

I started drawing when I was a kid, like most of us. I always drew a girl and then I was fascinated, not with the drawing, but with coming up with a story full of alliteration. The words were what I was interested in.

Then I got just a little bit older and I wanted to actually draw something that looked right. Mom bought me an art set, but the books were frustrating to me, what I wouldn’t have given for YouTube way back then! She even tried to enroll me in a course at the college during the summer. Sadly only I and one other girl signed up so they cancelled it. That really would have helped. My mom, meaning well, would critique what I had done. At 10 all you hear though is it isn’t right. So I was discouraged and quit.

It didn’t help that my personality was terrified of failure. I came from a family of successes. I never heard about the failures they had faced along the way, just the doing it right part. Sometimes I didn’t hear anything at all, like with aunts and uncles, I just knew they were successful at what they did. So what if I messed up? I’d feel small and like a failure and like I wasn’t a part of my own family. My personality couldn’t take that. And then…

“Just try it”

In my mid twenties I was having a conversation with a friend I had met on the internet. This was the toddler years of the internet, still no YouTube. I was on the phone with this friend and I was talking about how talented my grandmother was. She could paint, do ceramics, crochet, macrame, make candles, make Christmas decorations out of Pepsi cans, draw, she could do anything! She was amazing. “I would love to be able to paint like her” I said. My friend, an artist herself says to me, “Just try it. Go buy some inexpensive supplies and try.” She was my first real encouragement that I actually listened to. And I did try it and it turned out I could do stuff. Not all of what I did was good, but not all of it was bad either. It at least showed I had some talent. And I loved doing it.

From my mid-twenties to my late twenties I painted quite a bit, and drew some too. All just doing my own thing.

The Internet Grows Up

Finally we have YouTube. I had been away from art for awhile. We also had The Great Courses, and other lecture oriented sites. I decided to jump back in. But I didn’t want to do art so much to begin with as I wanted to do crafts. I had loads of supplies from my crafts and finally was in a position to go full tilt into art again. I could afford to sign up for Great Courses and take (still taking) a great drawing class. I thought why not go to the basics, I’ve never done them, it’s about time. I had the funds to get good supplies and even a nice easel, my old cheap one I couldn’t even figure out how to put together any more! And BOOM! I was at it again. I have paused on my class and been using what I have learned so far for an attempt at watercolors.

For encouragement I found doodlewash! Charlie and friends give prompts on what to paint each day. That has kept me active. And having the blog (going way back to that interest in language) has allowed me to show what I have done and how I am progressing. Sadly I need a lot of feedback to keep moving forward. But here I get that.

So that is how it went. I believe I have talent when you consider all the teaching I didn’t have. Now I am working on skill. Talent without skill (however you get that skill) really isn’t as great as people might think. I’ve played around with a lot of things now. But I find drawing, painting, and soft pastels are my favorite. It is joy. And I like joy!

Over the years…

Art: Looking for Something to Do?

The Dance Lesson, Edgar Degas (Public Domain)

I had a previous post that talked about being an artist. I said anyone can do it, and I stand by that. You just have to create. Sometimes it is good sometimes not. It takes practice. But no matter how good you do or don’t get it doesn’t mean you are going to be a van Gogh or a Rembrandt. So if you aren’t looking to create but you still love art I have a site for you!

As it turns out Google has a massive online art collection, and I do mean massive! I stumbled across it when I was trying to visit some museums that have opened online and at first didn’t even realize that I was on Google. They are organized in different ways. I am looking at it artist by artist. And with over 100,000 pieces it is going to probably take a lifetime to see it all. Oh but the fun I will have trying. You can also mark pieces as your favorites so you can go back and look at them later. Kind of your own museum! Here’s the link: Google Arts & Culture In the second row you will see different ways to go through the art. I hope you all enjoy!