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Archive for August, 2012

imperfect action

Friday, August 17th, 2012

I graduated from art school in May, and I learned a lot about painting. I really learned a lot of things, starting with how to gather paints and everything else I’d need to make a painting. Moving on to how to make my own canvases, how to see things technically like light, shadow, shape, form, warm vs. cool colors, etc., and also how to see things in my own unique way that no teacher can tell me, but can help guide me in listening to myself.

After graduation, I felt like I needed to start right away and set up my own painting studio before I let everything I learned slip away. I also felt like I could use some support in committing myself to a lifetime studio practice. I came across an online program called The Mindful Artist Mentorship Program, and I enrolled in June. There are about 20 of us artists enrolled in this three-month program, from around the country and even some internationally. Michele Theberge, a bay area artist who created the program and runs it, has been really great in offering her wisdom and experience from when she started her own art practice, and how to keep it going.

One idea that Michele proposes is the idea of imperfect action. This is as simple as it sounds – you just jump right in. Not everything has to be perfect. Sometimes we hold ourselves back because we are intimidated and feel like things need to be perfect, but she suggests that sometimes you can really free yourself up by trying something knowing that you don’t have to make it completely perfect. She gave us a special assignment to make 15 imperfect pieces. I decided to make three collages from a magazine and then make 12 paintings of various sizes and mediums from the collages. I think the process has been great in getting me to kickstart my post-graduation art practice!