Thursday, January 27, 2011


Over the years each time I saw a water color, I would step close and try to analyze the painter’s techniques. At the same time, I wondered whether or not I could paint. Eventually I would walk away and tell myself that the artist is talented and I’m not. Yet, my desire to paint remained. Then ten years ago, I took a class through the city recreation department. Instantly, I noticed that the other members of the class were better than I. Consequently I spent more time in the act of comparing than painting. Frustrated, I walked away convinced I was the unlucky one. I simply was not artisitic.

After I retired, I signed up for a watercolor class through the senior university like a pigeon coming home to roost,. I immediately engaged in the same act of sizing up the other students. During each class, I would begin my project. Then I would trek around the room admiring everyone else’s work. And so my obsession continued.

One day while I was especially discouraged, the sound of a familiar voice resounded through out the room.” If anyone in the room here thinks they’re talented, get up and get out. Painting is work and experience. It has nothing to do with talent. ”

I glanced to the side. Everyone just kept on painting. Then a smile spread across my face. That voice yanked my false assumptions right out of me. Those were the very words I needed to hear. Although the delivery jarred me, it alerted me to the fact that I wasted so much precious time honoring other’s accomplishments rather than spending time developing my skills. How liberating to encounter a situation at this point in my life that resulted in altering my preconceived ideas. And so, my painting continues.