Thursday, January 29, 2015

Yes, you too can paint

Painting the pot plants
When I paint in public people come and look over my shoulder. I am always surprised how many of them tell me, "I can't paint, my teacher told me that years ago when I was in school." Sometimes they add wistfully that they have a yearning to paint despite their teacher's advice.

Whatever can the teachers have been thinking, telling children they can't paint? Perhaps it is primary school teachers who were themselves told that they were inept?

My advice to teachers is to lay aside any expectations of how things should look. Painting helps us see things properly and sometimes this takes years.

In this regard I take inspiration from the talented plen-air watercolour artist David Taylor. I took a course with David many years ago. His classes were conducted outside and everyone painted the view except one gentleman who
Painting a figure from a computer game.
produced a series of paintings of colourful circles.

At the critiques each evening, David always found interesting to say about the colour combinations of these circles and every evening I felt enriched by what he had found.

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