Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Learning is a very tiring and emotional experience. I am not sure that I always make allowances for that. Yesterday I went to puppy class with a very excited Coco. She does not behave as well as she does at home, things she can do perfectly well she will not even begin. My self-critical self interprets this as failure and senses the teacher as disapproving and judgemental. I am irritated with the dog and defensive against imagined attack.
I also went to my art class. We have spent two weeks on one painting and the above is my finished work. When the teacher comments that some part is the wrong colour and needs an overwash, or tells me that I must practice a brush stroke before painting onto my work, I feel crushed, angry and despairing. What is the point of carrying on the class if I am so rubbish and will never have time to practice? (However, when, along with the other's paintings, mine is propped up for a critque and people say it is lovely, or the teacher declares it excellent it is like water off a duck's back and does not penetrate.)
It is hard to experience the results of my efforts not being as good as I would like. It is hard to learn from experience and not feel rubbish for failing to get it right first time. It is hard to put myself in a vulnerable place where my incapability is visible. When my children tell me that they are rubbish at something, I always tell them that they are not rubbish, but learning. I wonder if I truly hear the feelings behind those words and could extend more grace and tenderness, embracing them as they struggle with the same difficulties I experience.


Kate said...

I see success in this painting G - a capturing of the true spirit that encapsulates that house and brings it to life. But more than that - a beautiful painting completed in one course! Surely success can only be measured against the circumstances surrounding an achievement. The problem is, I guess, allowing that reality to penetrate and change your gut feeling.
Well done bud - beautiful! xx

Jane D. said...

Fab painting Gaynor - certainly more than I could do!