“We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way.” John Holt
That’s what I love about art workshops. Teachers—at least the good ones—demonstrate things they’ve learned and then let you explore on your own.
Rosie Huart, who taught “gestural mark-making” at Art of the Carolinas this weekend, is one of the good ones. She loosened up the class by getting us to make marks with alternative tools—dried leaf, metal plate, feather, stick, cork—that are hard to control. Then she sent us on our way with one piece of advice: Ask “what if…”
It took a while, but eventually we got it: there is no right way. You have to try things out and see what happens. (You can see what happened for me in the examples above.)
I had so much fun in the morning class, I signed up for her evening one: “Painting Poetry.” In three hours, we painted both sides of a large piece of watercolor paper and turned it into a book—without getting stressed out, which is a minor miracle. I came right home and filled mine with textures and words, which you’ll see in my next post.
Meanwhile, Art of the Carolinas has become an important marking point for me.
Since it happens just once a year, I can easily compare my experiences and appreciate the progress I’ve made over time.
It’s not just about new techniques, materials, and tools, though I love learning about them.
What’s truly important is the confidence I’m building, which frees me to follow my heart and do my own thing. What a blessing.