I love my work and means of expression as well as sharing it with others. Teaching and contributing ideas that I have learned brings joy to my heart. Richard Bach says, “We teach best what we most need to learn.” Preparing for class is a learning experience as well as feedback from students. I’ve had artists that were far better at their craft than I am as well as people who never picked up a paintbrush. I’ve grown in my own work from helping people.
I paint from internal inspiration rather than objects or pictures. I get satisfaction from non-objective painting and getting into the creative zone. The composition begins to tell me what to do next. Sometimes I’m asked, “What is it?” I like to share my feelings and impressions and let the viewer express his. Recently a woman was looking at one of my abstract designs and said, “I can look at this painting for hours, it draws me in.”
Lately, I’ve been pulling out older paintings and reworking them. “A Bridge To Other Realities” is one of those works. I’ve pictured both the before and after. I approached the painting with an attitude like I don’t care what happens. I showed it to my art group and they loved it. Reworking a painting is fun. If all else fails, works on paper get cut up and used for greeting cards, business cards, bookmarks, and collage pieces. The parts sometimes look better than the whole.
Most of my students have been older people looking for something to do. Dabbling in paint is a wonderful expression of self. Some do not have the confidence that they can do anything. I am good at encouraging them to try it. I can help them overcome fears and watch them come out with some amazing work. Seeing the growth in students excites me and motivates me to keep going.
Recently widowed Linda attended one of my workshops. She felt like making art would help to heal her broken heart even though she never painted anything in her life. Through her tears, she made a beautiful painting and continued classes with me until she moved out of the area. I was filled with joy knowing that I was a small part of her healing process.
I want people of all ages to realize that if they have the desire to find their creative spot they can do it, no matter what the age. Grandma Moses started painting when she was 80. I visited the home of her grandchildren who have continued her legacy with their own yet similar style. Visual art is important to the world. Imagine walls without the color yellow, to make you feel happy, or the calming effect of blue, or the excitement of red to titillate the senses. We are all born creative. It’s up to us to find the outlet that allows the freedom to express ourselves.
Ultimately, I hope viewers feel this expressive freedom when they see my work. I want people to delight in the colors and whimsy, experience a sense of happiness, and enjoy this reminder of what it means to be alive.