Picasso said that every child is an artist, and that the problem was how to remain one once we grow up.
Jon Katz, friend and author said if someone likes to write, and writes, then they are a writer.
I write, so I’m a writer. I paint, so I’m an artist.
These distinctions say nothing about skill or mastery. They just indicate desire and engagement.
I had the good fortune of meeting Madeline and Del this summer at a Plein Air painting seminar in Lake George. I mentioned that I was registered at a local college for a watercolor course this fall, and a week before classes started, I got a call from them saying they signed up too.
We’re half way through the semester now, and they have arranged to have me sit in between them. They’ve both been painting for years and create beautiful works of art. I can see on both sides how a painting develops and is finished by two accomplished artists. They both are generous in making valuable comments on how to improve my technique, color mixing, sequencing, details, and how to guess when a painting is finished. They encourage me and ensure me that if I keep at it, I will gain confidence and skill. I believe them, and I’m somehow really drawn to watercolors and have no plan to give up.
I also want to learn to knit. I learned the basics as a kid, but have done nothing since. I joined a group of people last weekend at the Beekman 1802 Mercantile in Sharon Springs for an afternoon of arm knitting. Nicole from Darn Good Yarn brought baskets of ribbon yarn to the Mercantile for our group and taught us how to make a scarf. Once I got the hang of it, I just kept going and my scarf ended up being 9 feet long. It’s not too bad for a first, and it looks great on Merlin.
Following Picasso and Jon Katz’s ideas, painting and knitting…and writing, are things I want to learn more about now, not to wait until I retire.
And if I ever have doubts about what I’m doing about anything in my life, I think of Dr. Seuss.
He sums it all up…