This is a second post about another of my experiences relating to The Creative Habit Seminar. You can read the first one here.
During the chapter exercises and soul searching, several aha moments surfaced. Some were more difficult to handle, but I found that paying attention to my energy reactions about the act of painting helped me become more aware of the challenges with my stubborn resistance to creating art with more confidence. The following is my second memory of doing art.
Do you remember your first excitement about getting to paint? I do - I was 6 years old, and I was thrilled - giddy happy.
The family was leaving Chicago for Seattle, but we stopped in California. While in California, I was enrolled in school. I still remember the day the teacher said, "Tomorrow we are going to paint." That's all I needed to hear; I knew immediately what I would paint. I would paint a picture of my Aunt Minnie's farm in Michigan - my favorite place ever. Little things like playing with the toads, and swinging on the big swing with my cousins, and watching the cows being milked.
Painting day arrived, and I'm still psyched. I begin quite successfully for a 6 year old. Long rows of crops (in perspective!) with the house sitting on top of the hill, and in full color.
The teacher rips my painting from the easel and says, "The lesson today is to paint a city."
Wow, I did not hear that part in my excitement to paint my Aunt Minnie's farm. All I could say with tears in my eyes was, "Sorry, I didn't hear that part."
Now to put this in perspective: I'm 6 years old (little for my age), and the instructor is a big guy, with a big stern voice. He just ripped my beautiful painting from the easel, and told me I did the wrong assignment. With fresh paper, I dutifully began painting a city mostly in black paint. The memory is still vivid, and I have thought about it often over the years.
I mean, I could paint still life, figure and portrait without a lot of hesitation, never cared if I wasn't very good, just loved to paint. Almost fearless, but landscape was always a problem, always uneasy feelings, lack of confidence, and yet still my choice for taking workshops.
So during my moments of introspection, the AHA moment hit me, and I made the connection. A long time coming, but now I know the problem. So how do I deal with this revelation ? was my question. I could still feel the fear.
I decided to use visualization, and help the little 6 year old kid kick that horrible teacher in the shins, and tell him that he was a terrible teacher!!
Yup, I did that. 😜 Felt good too!
I know this is a little laughable, and may seem trivial, but probably not if you share a similar experience. So this year, I will be painting a more landscape images, and see if I've finally overcome the childhood trauma!
The following image is my first landscape 'effort' since my new awareness and attitude. It's unfinished - want the buildings to be a little more painterly - but I'm really excited that I finally feel like I can do this.
|Seragano - Umbria, Italy|
8x8 Oil on Canvas
Wish me luck...