“It Ain’t Easy!”
Have you ever seen someone walk through a studio on a First Friday with a glazed expression without really looking at what is there? Or heard, “That’s ugly!” Or “My dog could paint better than that!”
People who are that judgmental usually are insecure about themselves and don’t find much fun in anything. nvite them to take up the making of art of any form to improve their sense of self-esteem and relationship to their world.
Yes, there are false advertising claims that lead one to believe that visual arts are simple: paint-by-numbers books, adult coloring books, drawing, sculpting and painting (in every medium) made easy. There are even books on these subjects for “Dummies” (a term, unfortunately, too many of us use in our opinionated fashion about ourselves and others.)
Those books may have some merit, but few people actually have the discipline or motivation to actually work through them. There are too many barriers to creativity in all of the arts, let alone in life as a whole. Here, with an apology to all English majors, is my unabashed attempt at a poem.
Biologically, creativity has been bred,
Psychologically, it has been shed,
Socially, it has been shred,
Spiritually, it has been bled
Out of us.
In all human dimensions, we are carefully taught to be the opposite of creative, and through that process, develop a sense of self-loathing. In her classic book, The Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, Julia Cameron has written 12 chapters, each designed to be a weeklong practice designed to undo the damage done to our souls.
She invites us to recover our sense of: Safety, Identity, Power, Integrity, Possibility, Abundance, Connection, Strength, Compassion, Self-Protection, Autonomy, and Faith. In reality, this process takes a lifetime, or perhaps many lifetimes.
On our “About Us” page on the website for Main Street Artists, www.mainstreetartistsgallery.com/About-Us.html, founder Suzi Zefting Kuhn writes, “We are a group of like-minded fine artists, many award-winning, who love to paint together, support one another, and inspire.”
Someone once said that trying to get a group of artists to do anything is like herding cats. Somehow Suzi has the gift for creating the environment where we each can develop not only our artistic skills, but also actually the traits that took a whole book for Ms. Cameron to write about.
(Image is of the collage painting Margot is currently working on that represents the work of all the Main Street Artists)