Many adults remember how they loved to paint and draw at primary school. They’d like to try it again, but then performance anxiety kicks in. Fear of making fools of themselves keeps many people away from art lessons.
In fact anyone can learn to draw well – you don’t have to be Leonardo or even particularly talented. Drawing is a skill which is picked up with practice: the key is learning to look carefully at an object (we can all do that) and then putting down what you see rather than what you expect to see.
Once you can draw, you are three quarters of the way towards producing a painting. Painting is amazing because it changes the way you see the world. You might be walking along a country lane, when you suddenly notice the changing patterns of light and start to consider which pigments you would use. Is the sky cerulean or cobalt? Would I add blue to that distant hedge? The more you paint the deeper you look.
Back in my Ipswich Art College days, my first painting projects involved a pot and a few oranges. I thought that once I got the hang of these, I would move on to something more interesting. What I didn’t realise then, was that within those seemingly basic problems of light and form, lay a journey of discovery that twenty years later, is still continuing.
These days I strive to pass on what I have learned about the craft of painting to those who attend my classes. At the same time I keep things simple and make things work within that simplicity: sometimes a half peeled orange can make an amazing picture.
When people arrive at an art class they have a spark which makes them want to create something: that spark needs to be nurtured, rather than be stamped out by self-criticism. Making mistakes is part of the creative process and sometimes wonderful and unexpected pictures can result from the unintentional. You know people are on a roll when you can see they are actually enjoying the process. Even a bad painting can be good, because it teaches you about how to produce a better picture next time
Amateur artists have lots of fun: they get all the enjoyment without the stress of trying to make a living. And believe me, it is stressful! If you would like to know more about painting and drawing lessons, have a look my classes and send me a message!