Friday, 23 September 2011


Instead of Watercolours, I am going to a Painting and Drawing Class this term. I have the same tutor as last year and she encouraged me to think over the summer of a theme I would like to work on: I chose rocks. There are a lot of rocks in the Yorkshire Dales where I spent my two week summer holiday: natural rock formations, stepping stones, dry stone walls, derelict barns. I took a lot of photos. Now I am faced with developing them into art. There is a programme of study, set pieces each week with a technique to focus on and I spent some time last session discussing with my art teacher whether I would be better off concentrating on following the plan and learning new skills or following my own ideas. She was dismissive of the scheme of work: I could bang out a few skies (this week's subject) if I wanted, she said, but could instead push my creativity far more with my own ideas.
I was surprised at my own internal sense of safety in learning technique, being told what to do, having a skill to learn, to, hopefully, improve on. Do I have any creativity to push? Can I really build up a body of work, push the materials to get the effects I want, create something personal with my subject? In short, is there really anything there inside me - do I have anything to say?
I am learning a certain sensation, a tickling feeling in my wrists, when I am challenged, when I am scared, when I am on the edge and about to jump. I have made big changes to my life in recent months, and playing around in new ways with paints does not compare, but it is the same feeling: a little voice daring me to step out, to push myself, to find something new, to be me.

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